Marilla Palmer is an artist from Brooklyn, NY. Her mixed media works navigate the unexpected overlap of the organic and artifice. Dried flowers, foliage, and prints of spores are delicately combined with holographic paper, sequins, and wrappers to embellish renderings of found branches and plants.
At first glance a celebration of the femininity of nature, upon closer inspection it’s clear that Palmer is probing deeper. She selectively reveals the decay of her natural materials through the mask of her glamorous synthetics, questioning the power to fully transform through adornment. The worlds of the organic and inorganic — which are usually engaged in a battle for territory — come together to create a uniquely intimate portrait of Palmer’s surroundings.
Palmer currently lives and paints in Brooklyn as well as painting in her studio in Connecticut.
“Artifice and nature are uneasy bedfellows, but this has always been where my interest lies. The focus of my last show “Optimism Reigns and Rains” was more about artifice: LED projections on crystal rain showers, tree fungus, tiny mirrors. In this exhibition “Nature Burlesque” the focus has shifted more toward the natural, but the botanical renderings are tricked out with sequins, holographic rainbows and glitter. My studio looks like the day after a storm that somehow twirled together deep woods and a burlesque dressing room. Branches piled with vintage velvet leaves, sequins on top of mushroom prints and fungi, crystals and dead flowers are all over the place. The shadows of the twigs and branches are traced and then rendered in ink on paper. Favorite trees in Moscow, Uxmal or Stella Maris are photographed, printed out and collaged with the renderings of branches, pressed real foliage, holographic papers, spore prints, velvet leaves, sequins, embroidery. Botany, decay, glamour and artifice.”