Artist Carrie Marill's Studio Combines Consciousness and Community

Categories: Personal Space
The artist finds she pays close attention to the interaction between humans and nature, with birds having an especially popular presence in her work. She says her interest in birds piqued when she saw they are the only wild animals that can be observed in cities and cohabitate with its residents.

Thania Betancourt
True to her artistic habits, Marill is also visually attracted to the detail and color patterns of their feathers.

Along with illustrating nature in her pieces, Marill adds hints of humor. "I think a lot of my work is a little snarky," she says. "This is my way of having fun in the work. I think it's easy to take yourself really seriously. I do take what I do very seriously, but I also like to have a good time. This is my way of making sure you're paying attention."

The clean and energetic lines seen in her artwork are also elements of her studio. Like the space, Marill's crisp and minimalist paintings are still beautifully open and gentle -- but when you study her work just a bit more closely, a quiet revolution surfaces.

Thania Betancourt
As Marill has been preparing for her next exhibition at SMoCA -- southwestNET: Sherin Guirguis and Carrie Marill, which opens September 22-- she's been researching traditional Navajo art, meeting with weavers and speaking with curators from the Heard Museum to give her an understanding of how to take the visual language of the Navajos and use it to describe what is going on currently.

Through her study of Navajo weavings, Marill also questions how to reconcile the feelings of what has happened to Native American societies.

"It's a difficult place," she says. "There's a culture we live right next door to that we know very little about, and it's dumbfounding to me. How can we move past it? I want to know more. This is my way of learning more about the culture."

For the upcoming SMoCA show, Marill bases a few of her pieces on SB 1070 and the Marriage Equality Act: "These are contemporary social situations that I'm hearing about and reading about that I wanted to incorporate because pictorial weavings traditionally describe the everyday life, and these are things that are happening today."

Thania Betancourt
To see how Marill interlaces her observations, wit and socio-cultural views, southwestNET: Sherin Guirguis and Carrie Marill will be up at SMoCA from Sept. 22 to Jan. 6.

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