Mary Iverson and containers

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Mary Iverson (1974), painter and muralist.

Mary Iverson is a painter and a public artist. Her paintings explore the balance between the natural world and industrial activities, inspiring conversations about the causes and consequences of climate change. In 2015, her work was featured in Foreign Policy Magazine, Huffington Post, and The Boston Review. In August, she was the cover artist for Juxtapoz Magazine. Her work is represented by galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Germany. Mary teaches visual art at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington, where she is a tenured faculty member.

In her hands, the containers have a life of their own, vibrating against each other and sometimes leaving the port altogether, landing in such unlikely places as a river running through Yosemite National Park or the vast, dry scrub of the Palouse. It’s the gridlines transecting these juxtapositions of nature and industry that create such an unsettling vibe, as if someone is mapping (or orchestrating?) the landscapes from afar – a team of alien surveyors or maybe a James Bond supervillain. The result is art as apocalyptic as it is appealing.

On the surface, we see activism, her collages and paintings warning us of a dystopic future existence. But the truth is, this apocalpyse is happening now. Through her paintings of rogue shipping containers invading precious, untouched vistas, she uncovers the gross excess and collateral damages of the shipping industry, and untimately, commercialism.

 

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