Protected Vulnerability Review by Megan Bates

Protected Vulnerability
by: Megan Bates

Carrie Marill’s shining geometric fortifications encompass mysterious artifacts and alchemical processes at work. Marill’s recent collection portrays walls and thresholds, in part as a means of protection necessary to get through a difficult year. In some of these works, delicate vining flora can be glimpsed within a burnished bronze enclosure: “I put up these patterned walls or shields so you can see the vulnerability from behind them, but they’re protected within.” Other paintings contain masonry-like surfaces, expressed in glistening lines with the exquisite clarity and pattern work that is a hallmark of Marill’s endeavors. Enveloped within these “walls” is likely a hidden initial painting that is also a foundational, if undisclosed, part of her process.

The use of discrete strands of gold and bronze paint is a motif found throughout Marill’s work, and in recent paintings metallic hues becomes a primary medium, symbolic of the artist’s alchemical process: “I wanted to create a mosque or church-like space inside the gallery, all of the paintings glowing with patterning in gold or bronze, to create these almost sacred objects.” For Marill, “pattern is my underlying visual language—it’s always been there as part of the way I communicate, and it’s ingrained in everything I do.” The artist, who refers to a wide range of cultural influences, recently studied Moroccan patterning at a traditional painting school in the U.K. “The uses of color, space, pattern, and reduction in Middle Eastern and Asian painting have always interested me. There’s a meditative sensibility that resonates with me and is something I try to integrate into my pieces. Ultimately, I see the world through a patterned lens – what I’ve learned is that much of the world sees through this lens as well.”