Meghan Marie Malar
The Surrealist’s Rosary (2022)
Chestnuts, wire, acrylic, seashell, velvet, wood
139 x 67 cm
Marie Malar has long been fascinated by a turn in Catholicism toward holy objects – crosses and icons, for instance – becoming purchasable, moving from places of worship into private spheres. The tentative and perhaps dubious rapprochement between material desire and spiritual gratification is a particular point of interest. Yet Marie Malar is keenly alive to the latent eroticism of holding a sacred object between one’s fingers, and to the overarching desire to trap divinity itself in a glass box and guard it like a precious stone.
She toys with these reflections in The Surrealist’s Rosary, where chestnuts and a seashell, objects typically not bought but picked in moments of idleness, meld into a piece of jewellery that appears to have grown from the earth itself. Yet coated in pink acrylic, it recalls the lacquer of nail varnish. Displayed against velvet, there is something at once girlish and luxurious about it, like a necklace in a boutique window.
In Marie Malar’s world, spirituality and material desire co-exist in a tentative space of tension and harmony. This interest has been a source of continual inspiration during her time at GlogauAIR.