Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

8.16.2012

Dangerously Gorgeous: Marilla Palmer

[Marilla Palmer's Sycamore Bow, 2011.  Mixed media on paper, 12 X 9 inches.
Courtesy Kathryn Markel Fine Arts.]

I wish I'd thought of "Dangerously gorgeous" on my own. Sounds like a great movie, no? But I have to say it comes from Marilla Palmer's artist statement for Kathryn Markel Fine Arts. Explaining her varied influences, she writes: "In Huysman's Against Nature, Des Esseintes was a perverted naturalist who obsessively created a decadent, bizarrely artificial environment: dangerously gorgeous. His descriptions of tropical flora are mind-blowing."

When I first saw Palmer's ethereal work, it struck me as incredibly alluring. Often beginning with traditionally feminine subject matter -- botanicals -- as well as materials including textiles, beads, glitter, and sequins, Palmer makes the flowers, trees, and branches very much her own. Her approach seems to blend craft with fine art, too, as she incorporates into her pictures crochet, embroidery, pressed flowers and grasses, and collage. The piece above is from the exhibition Nature Burlesque.

Related past posts: Paper Cuts and Painterly Roots.

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