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Mary Engel

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

My lifelong love for animals and the connection I feel with them inspires me to sculpt. I am fascinated by the animal archetype as it is found in diverse cultures, whether similar or disparate. We know the first intentional burials with ritual objects occurred 35,000 years ago and, with them, the first expressions of human faith appeared. Among these objects, a predominant burial image was the animal. The use of ritualized animal images has had enduring religious, mythic, and aesthetic significance. For me, these images symbolize a bridge between the rational and instinctual worlds.

My sculptures are not meant to represent a single myth, fable or archetype. Interpretation comes from the viewer’s imagination, belief system and personal connections to their ’;herd’, ’;pack’, or ’;cub’. Through my work, I aspire to create whimsical, animated creatures using gesture and ’;movement’ to capture a presence I feel animals possess.

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