Desert Light Gallery at Kelso Depot
Mary Olin Geiger
Sculpture by Mary Olin Geiger
In Occupying Memory, Mary Olin Geiger presents sculpture and fabrics that evoke her own emotional reaction to the American desert and the basketry of native tribes from the area.
"This project has transformed and expanded over time", said Geiger. "Originally, it began as as an exploration of a particular set of Native American baskets made by the Chemehuevi tribe. I used salvaged materials to make the vessels, as e-waste and textile refuse are abundant in today's world, much like willow and other plant fibers were to native tribes. The baskets, tributes to a dwindling art practice, are still an integral part of the installation, and they are now surrounded by various sculptural elements that augment the experience.
Geiger continued, "Humans have lived in the Mojave for thousands of years and there was evidence of this history scattered across the desert floor everywhere I looked during my time there. In this piece, I examine that ongoing presence and the physical evidence left behind."
Geiger has worked primarily in theater arts and her experience includes set design, props, scenery, and fabrication. Geiger has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Technology from Syracuse University, with a minor in Anthropology. She apprenticed in both New York and Italy, and was honored as a Syracuse University Visual and Performing Arts Scholar in 2011.