Fresh A.I.R. Gallery, Mental Health, OCD, Uncategorized

Exhibition: Mary Swanson – Embracing OCD

What: Exhibition
When: July 29 – September 11, 2015
Where: Fresh A.I.R. Gallery, Columbus, Ohio

Mary Swanson recently got in touch with us again to let us know she’s currently exhibiting at Fresh A.I.R. Gallery, stateside. We were in touch with Mary some time ago, and somehow lost touch. We were so pleased when an email pinged into our inbox to say she has a show on. For those of you in the US, or anyone who can afford the plane/train/automobile ticket, we implore you to go see her paintings.

For more information on the brilliant work at Fresh A.I.R. Gallery, and Mary’s show, please visit this write-up, here, and their website, here. Also, information below…

Fresh A.I.R. Gallery invites you to the exhibition Embracing OCD by Mary Swanson


In this exhibition, Mary Swanson takes a critical view of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Each piece depicts her every day fears, struggles and triumphs dealing with the disease. The subjects are often depicting herself as the main focal point.

Mary Swanson grew up in Rockford, Illinois, the youngest daughter of an artist and business owner. She spent most of her childhood in art galleries surrounded by artists and creative people. One of her fondest memories as a child was participating in a college level painting course with her mother at Rockford University.

Artist Statement

My artwork takes a critical view of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Each piece depicts the fears, struggles, and triumphs of dealing with the disease. Often, the works depict myself or another female as the main focal point while the theme concentrates on my life struggles dealing with contamination and maternal OCD.

The color blue seen in some of the work is a representation of medication, “the blue pill”, and how it comes to play a vital role in the life of those dealing with the disorder.

The portraits are typically distorted, fractured, or include jagged lines to represent the destruction one feels with the disease. At times the viewer may see the realistic portrayal of the subject to show that they are still human, but that portrayal is often balanced with abstract images.

Finally, the paintings are intended to be a window into the life and soul of someone who struggles with mental illness and how it can at times be disturbing and uncomfortable to look upon.

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