University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Art

School of Art Galleries

Temporary Structure 6

Temporary Structures

Medium: Steel, sand, wood platform
Date: 2020
Dimensions: variable

Marisa Lewon

Marisa Lewon is a multi-media artist from Southeastern Connecticut who currently lives in Tucson, AZ. She earned her BFA from UConn in 2014 and her MFA from the University of Arizona in 2020. She recently presented Balance, a solo exhibition, at the Lionel Rombach Gallery in Tucson. Other exhibitions include From Here to Eternity at MOCA Tucson and Emerging at ARC Gallery Chicago. Her work is showcased in Performance INDEX vol. 8 by Ugly Duckling Presse and Bared by Les Femmes Folles Nebraska. Recent screenings include 5-Minute Film Fest at MOCA Tucson and Six at The Loft, Tucson.

Temporary Structures is an amalgamation of sand, skin, self-understanding and time. Combining previous intuitive performance with interactive sculpture, I analyze my fragile relationship with unfamiliar landscapes. Having spent the first 25 years of my life oceanside, moving to the desert became both my inspiration and restraint. I use personal history to understand how the experience of where and how we are raised can alter reactions and perceptions of new landscapes as adults. Displacement and spaces that simultaneously provide comfort and discomfort are themes that serve as interruptions within this piece. While my immediate reactions are profoundly impacted by the varying landscapes I inhabit, the experiential residue of where I have been will never be washed away.

In this work, my perception of, and aversion to, ideas of home are echoed through exploration of personal memory. Utilizing the visual structure of a barnacle, I source the growth process of this creature to create a metaphor for human life. As “children” barnacles can freely swim about, much like a small fish or a tadpole. As they become mature, they create a calcified shell around themselves, remaining in one place until they eventually die, leaving behind just the shell as proof of their existence. There are many parallels that can be drawn between the life cycle of this small shellfish and humans. This fabricated mental reality that my work depicts represents a distinct binary between the desire to never settle and the need to find a place that feels secure.