heARTbeat: Mary Button Durell’s Paper Inspirations

ColumnThe artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. -Picasso

San Francisco-based artist Mary Button Durell returns after an 8-year hiatus from exhibiting with a signature series that turns tracing paper and wheat paste into sculptural revelations.

Durell explains:

These shapes have often been described  as biomorphic abstractions or shapes resembling cellular membranes, ethereal bodies and the skeletal structures of underwater organisms.

Some of her transformations took Durell 18 months of meticulous layering to create. Her mastery of these ethereal materials results in structure where before there was only flat paper. The outcome allows a translucent quality to permeate the work, which imbues a sense of other-worldliness.

Creating unique spaces seems a calling that Durell experienced early:

When I was 9 years old I wrapped the entire backyard in string. I wove the string from one branch to the next, over to the fence, back to the tree, around the trunk, over and around until this great web appeared. There were lines everywhere, joining different objects and cutting up space in strange ways. I felt completely enchanted with the new environment and excited knowing I could rearrange reality.

Her latest series Flash: New Works by Mary Button Durell continues her personal tradition of rearranging boundaries, now punctuated with neon color, but still encouraging us to explore her materials with fresh eyes and a sense of playful curiosity.

Flash will be on display through August 2012 at La Boutique, 414 Jackson Street, Suite 101, San Francisco.

Inspired by a post in California Home Design.

Photos by: Yvan Benathan, Dara Kerr, Danielle Grant

Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her trends blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.


Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.