Before I get too far into this post, I want to let all my readers know that you have another opportunity to see this amazing exhibition! I just found out last night that there will be an encore showing on March 14th from 6-8pm! So, if you’re reading this, make plans to go to Jacksonville, IL that evening!
The show is hosted at the Asa Talcott House (859 Grove Street, Jacksonville, IL) by The Imagine Foundation, who provide access to the arts for communities in Jacksonville and the surrounding area. The house also gives a nice aesthetic to the show, and I think, for the level of intimacy within Mary’s artwork and writings, the location is really suitable. It helps to set the mood and the tone.
When I first walked into the house this past Saturday, I was confronted with the following note hanging from the ceiling (click to enlarge):
While there were numerous paintings around the house, all wonderful, she also put forth effort to make the show fun and interactive. All throughout the house were hidden 41 little 2-inch doodles, one of those doodles was a “king doodle” that won the finder a free pack of stickers. I found about 5 or 6 doodles, but only took 2 of them so as to let others have some fun too. As perhaps a testament to her personality, art wasn’t just found on the walls, but it was tacked to the ceiling, some hung suspended from the ceiling, sometimes upside down.
Skeleton keys hanging from the ceiling. Reminds me of rain, or tears… Could unleashing your pain, your tears, rather than suppressing them help unlock your happiness?
The thing I really love about Mary Tumulty’s work is that she really puts herself into it. Most artists take life events and put them into their art, but with Mary, her life really is in her art and vice verse. There seems to be this blur between life and art and the one feeds off the other. With particularly personal pieces, she will place little pages to the side, like a page from a diary, that puts the observer into her place.
One of my favorites. Colorful yet dark at the same time. Notice how she incorporates photos, receipts, other objects into the painting. What I see: Life. The large circle seems to be like a womb…
…and look! Here are the sperm!
If you recall, I’ve written about Mary’s work before. Back in November, I talked about her use of random embroidery and stitches in her paintings. Thread made an appearance in her artwork here as well:
From a distance…
A close-up. Look at the nails pounded into the painting! The tear in the canvas! The way the string is wrapped around the nails.. kind of like a web or a nest. This is a love it or hate it piece, I think. Myself, I like the way she abuses the canvas.
There was one room upstairs that was kind of sectioned off and hidden away. Much darker than the rest of the exhibit, this room housed the most intrusive and intimate artwork. If the house were a layout of Mary’s mind, this is would be the back of it – that little corner reserved for fears and worries, for all of those secrets and wishes that are too damaging to normalcy and decency to be unrestrained. This is where Mary bared all and let the world judge her naked soul. This is where, for the first time ever, she showed “The Book.”
These pages, snaking through the room and dangling from the ceiling like bodies from trees, whisper out Mary’s story to anyone willing to listen…
And now, it’s time to take you on my journey into Eldritch Things…
For more information on Mary and her work, visit http://www.marytumulty.com Like any of the artwork you see? Support an artist and buy a painting. (I am the proud owner of a Mary Tumulty “On the Rag” tee)
Like my writing style? You can also become a fan of my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/ACloth-the-World/194022420703365, where I post exclusive content, including more pictures from this show!