My work is inspired by indigenous art, grounded in nature, and is a celebration of the beauty and sorrow of life and death. I first came to my art after the death of a beloved friend. Consumed by grief, I needed to make meaning of death and find a way through my heartbreak and loss. One day as I picked up one of the bones in my house I felt a sacred awareness arise within me. I understood that death and life are inseparable, and that we can either struggle against or respect and honor this foundational truth. Life is about learning to move through, not around, death. My first piece, which I completed in three 1/2 months, was consecrated with many tears of both sorrow and joy.
When I’m holding a bare bone, skull, or antler in my hands, an energy of excitement and elation rises within me. I dedicate each piece to the ancestors and to the spirit of the animal, and they guide my hands in creating the unique design. Each bead is placed with prayer and honoring. As I move deeper into the process I often find myself mourning death and praising life simultaneously. In my studio in Cerrillos I’m constantly experimenting with new materials: from hand-tanned leather to glass beads, semi-precious jewels to metals, opals to obsidian. Each tiny bead and element is dreamt into to bring visual, spiritual, and emotional balance. The result is a holy intersection of art and death, loss and life.
As a Native American, African American, and European American artist, Marilyn Brown finds inspiration in honoring intersections and boundaries. From her earliest years growing up in the Pacific Northwest she remembers collecting bones and feathers and creating altars to her ancestors. As a rare woman furniture builder, Brown fell in love with the art and detail of giving wood new life. It was the death of a close friend that shifted her path from craftswoman to artist. Her unusual canvas, bones and antlers, is the base of an incredibly detailed song of color and patterns. As a new artist working on the cutting edge of her medium, numerous art critics and gallery owners have praised Brown’s work as “completely original” and “electrifying.” She is dedicated to using her art to help humans reconnect with the powerful intersections of life and death.
Marilyn sells and produces her art on a commission basis. Prices usually range from $4,000.00 to $5,000.00 for her unique pieces of art.