Memory Art :: Mari Skarp   Leave a comment

Memory Art :: Mari Skarp







Built upon personal experiences, I am compelled to create work about the aspect of memory loss. Though the importance of analogous materials, objects and locations emphasizing memory development and loss, I strive to represent the truly intangible subject matter of memory.

I make connections between a physical architecture, touch infused objects and the structures of the brain, examining their integrity and the design of their physical and psychological collapse.  I desire to retrieve the physical form of memory from scientific and environmental study, in order to find its actuality and factual representation in my work.

I am possessed with the obsession to preserve memory, to reconstruct the failing neural architecture, and to regain the mental integrity of the beholder. I address this imminent fragility of mind, and portray the inability to stop time, or to rebuild what has been lost.

I construct environmental installations through the utilization of materials that are temporal and uncontrollable in nature to examine memory and to study memories connections to the perception of art, specifically sculptural installation and interdisciplinary practice.


My work reflects the destruction and disappearance of farmland in the United States. Born and raised in rural Connecticut I witnessed the farms that surrounded my home being shut down and built upon. Soon Industrial Parks, housing areas and a new school replaced the local farms. The fields and forests surrounding these farms were also leveled, and the wildlife was permanently displaced. Run-off from the building processes pollutes the environment leading to further ecological degradation and damage.

My work speaks to the disparity of the abandoned farm. I venture to these haunted places and wander in the vacant buildings. I pull scraps of metal, wood, wire and rubber from the grounds and study them as artifacts. I utilize these artifacts, evidence of the farms existence, in my work to re-create the living spirit of the farm.

I also utilize the soil and vegetation of the abandoned farm. I will collect soil from each farm and preserve it in my work, a way of keeping its purity before it becomes part of a modern day manicured lawn or asphalt. I take roots from the trees that are cut down and uprooted and utilize them in my work, often with the actual soil clinging to them.

I find importance in the materials that are found on the farms. Each bit of painted wood, rusted metal or cracked rubber tells a story of a distinguished past, of daily use, and of eventual decay. Each artifact shows a different kind of life, which shows hard work, sweat, callous, and the gentle life bringing touch of the farmer.

With these materials in hand I create the most cherished spirit of the farm, that of the animals who reside there. I create animals both wild and domestic that found peace on the rural farm and who have also been uprooted from their home and sanctity.

I create this body of work to promote awareness, for farm preservation, not just for moral standards but also for ecological value of our land and wilderness.

Posted February 3, 2011 by annallewellyn in art installations

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