2019 Residency

Marilu Swett Opening Talk


Artist Marilu Swett

Artist Marilu Swett introduced herself and her work on Monday, June 3, at her Opening Talk at The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck.  Gorgeous forms and intricate masses constitute Marilu’s art. And her descriptions increased our vocabulary.

As Marilu tells it, she traveled to London some years back in a studio exchange with another artist. She went to London as a painter — and came back as a sculptor.

It’s easy to see the connection: her ink drawings made up of layers of vellum and paper let her to see — and then realize— them as sculptural.

She started with rubber roofing material that could be cut into thin strips, then woven together. That led to casting the rubber in custom-made ceramic molds. Multiple-part molds of her first pieces were rubber, into which she cast wax to bring to a foundry to be cast in bronze. Eventually other materials came into play, including cast resin, then duralar (a semi-transparent plastic drafting sheet, similar to Mylar—strong even when cut into thin strips), and eventually an expandable urethane foam that she molds and paints.

When some of us mere mortals might shrug our shoulders at any process that takes more than two or three steps, Marilu dives in to complicated processes that yield unique pieces that still betray a biologic center. Thrilling stuff (and with a sense of humor).

A selection of images of Marilu’s work:

Snap Judgement, 2018. Ink, acrylic on duralar and paper
Lesson in Logic, 2018. Ink, acrylic on duralar and paper
Catfish John, 2019. Cast bronze, resin, wood, paper, pastel, acrylic, leather
Mass, 2019. Foam, urethan foam, burlap, tubind, enamel paint

”I get inspiration from tools, from the docks,” she said. “I love being here!”

Her plan to is work on black-and-white ink drawings and play with them. Give her about a week to get settled, then feel free to visit her at the Goetemann Studio. Knock on the door and if she’s in she’ll be glad to talk!

2 thoughts on “Marilu Swett Opening Talk”

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