Mary Button Durell

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This week has not been my week. From being sick to there being a huge fire in Boston that has knocked out our power to other weird things going on – I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone! But the blog is always here for me – and the artists are always wonderful and refreshing. Today it’s Mary Button Durell who is bringing me back to reality through her cloud-like works.

These are much bigger than you think. They’re made of only tracing paper and wheat paste (I’m not sure what wheat paste is…I assume, just as it sounds). They look like honeycombs to me!

So Mary creates each individual part over molds and then attaches them together and solidifying their structure with more of the same materials. This makes sense to me!

They remind me of the lamps of Ayala Serfaty, but I think those are resin over an armature of some kind. these are made exclusively of the paper and paste, which is commonly a children’s art technique. I love seeing it used in a very adult way.

As her artist statement says her work has, “often been described  as biomorphic abstractions or shapes resembling cellular membranes, ethereal bodies and the skeletal structures of underwater organisms.” As you know, my favorite art inspiration falls within the cellular membrane / underwater organism spectrum.

How cool is that! This looks to me like spun cotton candy. I like how the tracing paper is so translucent and as it gets more and more layers it grows in density and opacity. This also looks like a mini tornado, out of context.

Coral? Sea anemone? The other cool thing about the tracing paper / wheat paste combo is the color that comes out – it’s like a nude or a cream. I wonder if that’s the wheat paste that changes the white tracing paper or if it’s unbleached tracing paper to begin with.

Love it.

I love these little sculptures that she colors with acrylics. These are her more recent works (2011) where as the ones above are older.

To me these look just like paper sharpening shavings.

I think each and every one of these pieces is exquisite – I’d love a whole room of them or a whole area in front of a window.

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  • Mary Button Durell

    Thank you so much for posting my work on your sight!!! Such a nice surprise when I woke up this morning. You did such a great job on the comments and descriptions.

    Thanks again,

    Mary Button

    BTW, I post current work and works in progress on Instagram @marybutton.


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