This exhibition explores trauma, healing, and close inspection through Marcella Marsella’s textile and collage-based practice. The artist uses color as a vehicle to unite both aspects of her practice. Aqueous Bodies is about life, living, and making sense of the physical world through symbols and the use of color. The word “aqueous” can mean flowing, as life can be. Marsella’s body of work is meant to be physical. As we move through the exhibition, we might physically feel a comfortable, childlike curiosity to explore the world around us. The artist’s hope is that the contrast of the lighter colors with the darker colors will make the journey through this space relaxing and easy, yet exciting.
Marsella’s quilts are about the ways people use objects, such as textiles and blankets, to create a sense of security in their lives. These objects often provide security in our most vulnerable moments as adults, including traumatic experiences. They can bring us back to comfort and facilitate healing. When the world feels overwhelming, we utilize the tools we were given as children, such as quilts and decorative symbols, to bring us back to a sense of home.
In her collages, Marsella uses bright colors to create two-dimensional worlds that reflect the all-encompassing vibrancy (hearing, smelling, seeing, tasting) in the real world. Her abstract motifs of fish and meat give life and dimension to this world. Through her work, we can begin to understand the comfort we find with bright colors, the reminiscent qualities of a quilt, and youthful reminders that bring us back to safety and reassurance.
About the Artist
Marcella Marsella is a living artist whose work currently focuses on the interconnected nature of oppressions, specifically the harms faced by women and non-humans, spanning the personal to the global. Her practice integrates collage, quilting, drawing, painting, mosaic, video, photography, writing, assemblage, jewelry, installation and sculpture. She lives and works between Boulder, Colorado, West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Marsella graduated from Tyler School of Art with a BFA in painting & photography. She spent the following 15 years supporting her practice by working a wide variety of jobs including haunted house actor, nude model, nanny, paddle boat operator and pizzeria dishwasher. She has exhibited her artwork a record eight times at Philadelphia City Hall. Marsella is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Colorado Boulder while teaching painting to undergraduate students and hatching a plan for her next scuba dive.
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
Nicky Wolman & David Fulker, Sue Schweppe, City of Boulder, Boulder Arts Commission, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, Colorado Creative Industries, and National Endowment for the Arts
BMoCA @ Macky is a collaboration between BMoCA and The Andrew J. Macky Gallery, located in the foyer of the Macky Auditorium Concert Hall at the University of Colorado Boulder. The gallery is currently open Monday afternoons, Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-4pm, and when there is a performance at the auditorium. The gallery is also open by appointment.