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20170304_140638_resized_1Marlena Wyman with her installation Mary, Star of the Sea at the Nina Haggerty Gallery, Edmonton

I spent yesterday setting up my installation at the Nina Haggerty Gallery, and I am happy with how all my pieces work as a whole. My studio is small, so I wasn’t able to see everything together until they were installed in the gallery.  I saw some of the other other artists works for the first time and they are all exciting and thought-provoking.

img_6017In/Hospitable exhibit at Nina Haggerty Gallery showing works by Lana Whiskeyjack, Michelle Lavoie and Marlena Wyman

The title of my installation for the In/Hospitable Women group exhibit at the SkirtsAfire Festival is Mary, Star of the Sea. It is an ancient name for the Virgin Mary that is common in Catholic coastal and fishing communities. Newfoundland has numerous Catholic churches named for Mary, Star of the Sea and Our Lady, Star of the Sea.

My installation includes ten 8”X10” Mary Portraits …img_6005

…and a 30” high Mary figure made from plaster, modeling clay, sea shells, beach glass, china shards and other mixed media.



Over time, I have collected small Mary figures at thrift stores, and these also form a part of the installation along with seashells, many of which I collected on Newfoundland beaches.


The curator for the exhibit, Mary Joyce, states:

Women who love art enough to want to make it have to make hard choices that allow them time for their work. Traditionally, women are hosts of their children from conception onwards, for their husbands, for their parents, for their friends, for household livestock, feeding, washing, medicating, teaching, entertaining. Only love makes it sensible. Certain guests might find a woman who wishes to be an artist lacking in hospitality. Visitors such as flocks of birds, oil wells, a divine embryo, explorer-colonizer-thieves of culture, penetrations of invisible electronic global information, and pressure to stay traditionally “grounded” get beautiful, thoughtful examination in this show.  


Photographs and artwork by Marlena Wyman