Dirty Birdy

  • 2007

Marill’s bright palette and Pop sensibilities are a pleasing and balanced contrast to the often darker implications of her subject matter. Marill collects bits of Styrofoam from the canal near her home. The material wears down, like rocks, into smooth biomorphic shapes that Marill finds attractive. Marill says these Styrofoam pieces remind her of the sculptures of Hans Arp, and incorporates them into her paintings by tracing their outlines on richly hued papers. She then cuts and applies the paper shapes to her works to create colorful masses that become little ‘trash islands’ for her meticulously painted birds.

These finely rendered birds have appeared before in Marill’s work, and are also closely tied to her interest in the world around her. She bird watches in her own backyard and recently created a series of seventeen larger works that featured local threatened and endangered species.

“They say the best place to start bird watching is in your own backyard,” says Marill, “so that’s what I do. The challenge in this work is drawing out the beauty in the mundane and frankly tragic things I see every day.”

Gouache and collage on paper.