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Mary Vozenilek

Mary Vozenilek

My work has been focused on the stages of recovery people take after traumatic changes to their lives. This is inspired by my parent’s recent divorce and the impact this had on my family. As the oldest child, I felt like it was my burden to somehow try to fix the situation, either by repairing other fracturing relationships within my family or helping make the process easier for my parents. These two bodies of work, while divergent, both represent reactions to loss and the healing process.


My glass work, Tools to Fix a Divorce, are found-object-and-glass unusable tools. While people often search for simple fixes to complex problems, these objects are nonsensical and counter-productive. These tools stem from my own frustration with my inability to fix the situations and emotions caused by divorce, as well as giving form to the unsolicited or uninformed advice and coping strategies offered by outsiders. These objects appear shiny and exciting, inviting the idea of function, utility of which would be frustrating and impotent.


My ceramics work, Renewal, represents death (of a relationship, of a person, of a time in one’s life) as not an end but as a potential reincarnation. It expresses a desire not to forget what had once been, nor to hold onto what has died and allow it to stagnate. Rather, the work seeks to regrow this end into something new and better and even more joyful. Fungi are key to the renewal of an ecosystem- without decomposition, life can’t go on. These decomposers bring new life to things that have died and allow something different to grow in its place. Instead of wallowing in the past or a difficult time period, this work looks forward to the potential growth and improvement that distressing changes can bring.

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