SWIM GIRLS

The mixed media pieces are classically rendered with a modern twist. Mary’s work incorporates oil, acrylic, plaster, wax, and gold leaf to create luminous portraits. The Swim Girls Series is about strength transformation and re-birth. 

The determined swimmer breathes as she prepares to dive deep. The earth is 71 % water, adult humans are 60% while newborns are up to 78% water.  The metaphor of water is used throughout mythology, religion, and art to symbolize a psychological transformation or to express a dive into elements of the subconscious mind. The swimmer lets go of all the internal and external chatter and allow herself to connect to her watery core and the ebb and flow of universal consciousness.

The “Swim Girls” are a series of large-scale moody portraits of women diving, contemplating and savoring the aquatic life. Some are preparing to dive deep into the lake, river or pool. There she will experience the weightlessness of water and the connection to her watery core. The metaphor of water is used throughout mythology, religion, and art to symbolize a psychological or literal transformation or to express a dive into elements of the subconscious mind. In essence, she is diving into a new reality.

Many of Mary’s paintings have the iconic Sugar Loaf Bluff in the background symbolizing Winona, Mary’s home for ten years.

Formations like Sugar Loaf are unique to this region of the midwest and resulted because the great glaciers bypassed this area leaving the craggy bluffs and deep river valleys. 

Reaching nearly 85 feet into the sky, Sugar Loaf is a storied symbol of Winona and known by all as its most distinguishing landmark. The result of quarrying in the late 1800s, the bluff is synonymous with an old Native American legend that paints the rock as the cap of Dakota Chief Wapahsha.

It is a myth that you have to have a certain body type in order to be healthy, athletic or for that matter worthy or beautiful. Australian swimmer Leisel Jones, achieved her dream of becoming a nine medal winning Olympic Champion. Her moment of triumph was broken by cruel jabs about her weight. Despite her notable and heroic accomplishments she was reduced to being just a “fat girl”. On the day of her Olympic glory, she was quoted as saying; “I wanted to crawl under a rock and die”. This is how we as a society all too often dismiss women. Happily, there is a sea-change occurring (pun intended).

Leisel Jones

Leisel Jones photographed for credit Peter Brew-Bevan 

Featured in Contemporary Art Curator Magazine
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