Mary Iverson’s spectacular paintings offer a contemporary spin on the grand landscape paintings depicting America’s national parks and monuments. She carefully dissects seemingly serene places of incredible natural beauty, like the Grand Canyon and Mount Ranier, through countless lines cutting across the compositions. These lines transform each environment, as they alter your perspective. Creating even more visual conflict, an array of shipping containers disrupts each landscape. It is as if an apocalyptic disaster has occurred and we are witnessing its aftermath, its effect on the natural environment.
“Her paintings explore the balance between the natural world and industrial activities, inspiring conversations about the causes and consequences of climate change.”
In her painting Campers, unconcerned bathers are about to be crushed by a shipping container avalanche. When people are present in her work, it becomes ridiculous to the point of comical that her subjects do not seem alarmed by the presence of these invasive shipping containers, creating a parody of our disinterest in the effects taking place in nature due to our influence. It appears that destruction and disaster have occurred in Iverson’s paintings, and at the hands of human material. Her work points out the dangers of human influence on the environments we so willingly modify and consume for economic means.
Mary Iverson currently lives in Mount Vernon, Washington, where she teaches visual art at Skagit Valley College.