marion held
dress project 1
masks 1
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Artist's Statement

I work with disparate materials including cast resin, clay, wood, metal, paper, fabric, light, found objects, as well as elements that are found in nature and the environment such as insect nests and horsehair. These are used in surprising combinations in both intimate pieces and large scale installations. My sculpture often references the passage of time in connection with the ephemeral nature of memory, immediate and distant.
I am interested in representations of the body, both literal and psychological.
The images I use can be seen in my fabric body coverings that hang freely in the air. The garments are hand sewn. The illusions of viscera are often sourced from anatomical pictures that I find in books, modify, print on cloth and then attach to the fabric. The structure of the garments change as they move with air currents and catch light in unexpected ways. One of my pieces, called “Hovering”, weaves an evocative narrative as the viewer responds to an old metal washtub that is placed beneath a ghost like garment that hangs in dynamic balance above.

Other sculptures are assembled from various materials and create a surreal story, sometimes playfully exploring the materials in the process. For example, I use cast resin to create biomorphic forms suggestive of living organisms, the amber light emanating from the resin giving it an otherworldly glow and suggesting anatomical elements. In other pieces, discarded found objects find new life in works that juxtapose oddly matched items. The purpose of this work is to simultaneously suggest the distant past, ambiguity, and new beginnings.

My work on paper and in artist books continues the themes developed in my sculpture; psychological references to the body connect all of my art. I find the book form particularly interesting because I can manipulate its physical form, enhancing the mysterious qualities of the images. These images are drawn and printed in ink, wash and pencil. Some of them are identifiable anatomical renderings, while others challenge the viewer with images that defy categorization. Ultimately, the intention is that my work provokes thought, and that it imprints upon the viewer an intriguing look into my perceptions of the passage of time, memory, loss and mystery.