Mary O'Malley

My work begins with a fascination with nature and natural processes in all its complexity and richness. My most recent body of work consists of tightly rendered ink drawings on paper, mostly using metallic inks on velvety black paper. This minimum palette helps to emphasize the complex detail and ornate patterning of the drawing. In the spirit of outsider and visionary artists, each mark is hand drawn using fine-point pens. I draw inspiration from the unpredictable and wild side of nature, combined with a hybrid of images from many sources- botanical illustration, natural and biomorphic forms, microscopic scientific imagery, ancient and modern decorative arts, architecture, and textile patterns. Flora and fauna, obsessive patterning and a Baroque sensibility come together to create a new world of hybrid chandeliers, curious bouquets, dense gardens and imagined landscapes. They exist somewhere between the wild irrationality of nature and the rigorous orderliness of lace patterns. I am interested in a beauty that is blatantly sensuous, unapologetically pretty, boldly decorative, and aggressively feminine. These pieces embody the spirit of a gaudy chandelier dripping with crystals and lights, a blinding, ridiculous beauty that attracts and repels.