marley madeline rae

Artist Bio

marley rae is an embroidery artist and poet, born in 1997 in Portland, OR. They earned their AA from Mt. Hood Community College in 2016, and their BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in 2020. marley works with traditionally feminine craft in an attempt to redefine what is considered fine art, or rather to disregard the institutional definition of fine art altogether. They have curated and shown in two group exhibitions — Hallowed Halls (2018) and Tense Identity (2019), and exhibited in the 2017 Cornish Foundations show.

Artist Statement

I have a generative brain. 

I lose track of what I’m saying in the middle of saying it. I have to chisel out ideas and it often takes me several tries to get it right. I always leave a conversation feeling like I didn’t quite say what I wanted to. 

My art practice attempts to fill that gap. It is a space that allows me to attempt an idea several times, and to push at it until I get it right. It allows me to say exactly what I mean, because I am allowed the time to work around an idea and figure out exactly how to say it. 

Process is incredibly important to my practice. In fact I believe the process is the work, and the finished piece is simply a vehicle to display the process. For this reason, the labor of things is incredibly important to me. I crave visible labor, I need the time spent on an object to be apparent. Perhaps this is why I’m so drawn to craft; it is an obvious labor of love, especially embroidery and knitting. I crave repetitive, meditative work. 

My momma and gramma are both artists in all senses of the word. My gramma sews, paints, draws, crafts, cooks, writes, and plays the piano. She is creative in every aspect of her life. She passed that daily artistry down to my mother, who passed it to me. It is because of them that I am here. Women’s craft is often not taken seriously or considered Art, but to me, it is the purest form of art. 

My practice stems directly from the craft I inherited from my mothers, even when it looks nothing like craft. I work in both digital and traditional processes. My craft practice centers around textiles and sewing, making use of embroidery, quiltwork, and knitting. I often also employ digital methods of projection, video, digital illustration, and audio. Projection and installation brings these two opposite processes together, often in large-scale experience-based installations.