Mary Hood

Tempe, AZ

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My recent work exists in the utopian Arcadia, historically celebrated as an unspoiled and harmonious wilderness devoid of the impact of human civilization.  As guardians of Arcadia, it is our work to guide conflict to harmony, though all too often conflict is used as a means of personal gain. Yet, creation is by nature is both harmony and conflict. The world we live in often feels shaped by catastrophic events, both internal and external, and a sense of looming crisis seems to provide the structure of feeling for our time. This work investigates utopian and dystopian constructions, exploring the boundaries between the idealized and abstracted spaces of an immaterial world. Without becoming too didactic, my narratives allude to themes within contemporary culture that express a political or social point of view, using animals as a metaphor for human behaviors and contemporary events. The act of rendering visible the difficult, the uncertain, and the unconscious helps me to understand how the precarious nature of life can be examined.