Marla McLean

Too Many F@#king Vigils
Mixed media mosaic with used vigil candles
24” x 24” x 4”

“Marla I have something for you that I think you can do something with.”

A cardboard box is handed to me. I open it up to find hundreds of used vigil candles.

The first thought that raced through my mind was, Too many F@#cking Vigils.

I love "to make" art/objects and draw inspiration from both visionary artists who create through obsession and need, and ancient art born of ritual and culture.

I tackle imagery through metaphor and material. In each piece, the process and materials are married to the conceptualization.

There are two overarching themes that permeate my work. Syncretism and Social Justice. My studio is located above The Word of God Church, in a strip mall. Every Sunday, a full band plays. Bass thumping and soulful gospel music and praise come through the ventilation system. Sometimes it is rented out to a Spanish Pentecostal Church, and the music abruptly changes, challenging my senses. While many might find this a distraction, I use this soundscape as a soundtrack that shapes my work consciously and unconsciously.

Both the joy and tragedy of current times are cause for reflection, creation, and response. My art is often created in response to injustice both nationally and internationally. There is a tension within the beauty.

My current mixed media art pieces seek to provoke thought about the power of love in the face of racism, trauma, and oppression.