Islip Art Museum
50 Irish Lane, East Islip NY 11730
July 2 – August 24, 2019
Reception: August 3, 2019 1-4PM
Closing Reception and Symposium Saturday August 24th 1-4pm
A journey of discovery with no foreknown destination was set into motion and this exhibition is the momentary culmination. This exhibit includes artists who have collaborated beyond their medium of expression, artists both experienced and new at collaborating, parents with their adult offspring, varied processes that combine music, video, garden, humanity. This will excite you and get your creative juices bubbling…but you won’t over-heat. The Islip Art Museum is air-conditioned.
Mary Ahern is a painter and Mary Schlotter is a floral designer.
We are both Marys and we are also both passionate gardeners. We have joined forces in a number of art shows using our own respective mediums. In these collaborations we select a theme which, for both of us, always includes plant material. We discuss issues of color, size, proportion and duration before the work begins. Usually the two dimensional artwork comes first since it takes longer to create. Then the magic of interpreting those works into three dimensions including the issues of time and sustenance are explored. In our collaborations we offer each other tremendous freedom yet within creative boundaries. Our temperaments and our awe of the natural world surrounding us is the fulcrum of all of our work whether we are collaborating together or working alone.
As a passionate gardener, my art is as intricately entwined as the gardens surrounding my studio. Cultivating and tending these gardens is the first stage of creating the art that grows in my studio.
Flowers represent to me a microcosm of the universe in their cycles of living and loving, families and relationships as well as their quest for survival and eventual senescence and rebirth.
With a duality of external and internal vision, I invite the viewer to see, larger than life, the beauty and intricacy of flowers and in their boldness I suggest a contemplation of their relevance and ours in the social order of our universe.
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change” – Buddha
My grandmother Maria was from Bari, Italy. As a child she would walk with me through the gardens at our home while pointing out various flowers and fruits. Our house was built on an old fruit orchard. One day she took her thumb and pushed it into the soil. In her apron pocket she pulled out a peach pit. She said it had been so delicious. She had me plant it and covered it with a clean mayonnaise jar, and so it grew.
These walks inspire me in my designs. Every time I step into my garden or see a beautiful flower, a plant or a perfect peach I think of her. I create my arrangements as if they had just been gathered in our arms from the garden.
They are composed in a manner that will not hurt the earth by using toxic design mechanics such as floral foam. Clean water and compostable armatures are my base. When ever possible I grow our flowers and use locally sourced material. I want the recipient or the viewer of my design to feel as if they are catching a glimpse of a garden and give them a sense of peace.
“Adopt the sense of nature, her secret is patience” – Ralph Waldo Emerson