Tyler Mackie


Tyler Mackie was born to silversmithing parents in Portland, OR and received her B.F.A. from Oregon State University in 2005, and later received her M.F.A. with a concentration in painting and drawing from Louisiana State University in 2009; Mackie’s graduate thesis show made a departure from the 2-D emphasis, and marked her current, creative commitment to craft-based sculptural fiber work.  During the remainder of 2009, through to the close of 2010 Mackie lived and worked in Madison, WI and held the volunteer gallery managing position at the independent art and music space, The Project Lodge. Upon leaving this gallery position, she made plans to return home to Portland. Mackie returned to living and working in her hometown in 2011, exploring relationships between various performance, visual and craft-based communities.  Her current major project is to coordinate a community-based, knit project to honor the centennial celebration of the Broadway Bridge, scheduled for installation in August of this year.  Expanded Draught incorporated Mackie into the collective in 2009 for their exhibition at the Galway Arts Centre.

Statement of work:

I like taking pretty to a level of beautiful disturbance.  Pretty entices through its loud, bedazzled and laced adornment, beckoning the viewer to approach.  In mass quantities, pretty overwhelms, but it can also quietly seduce.

My work performs this seduction through appeals to nostalgia, play and the body.  By way of traditional handicraft I create myriad scenes of girlhood and womanhood, interpreting moments where the two intersect into hyper and hybridized experiences of the female and the feminine.  One especially successful interpreter in these explorations has been Girl, a fictional character crafted from personal girlhood memories.  In conversations with Girl, I consider how pretty, the female, and the feminine can converge into visual dialogues that excite and interrupt the sensibilities of the viewer.

In these in between spaces, I make room for the beautiful disturbance: the toothache that proceeds a sweet tooth’s frenzied sugar binge.  I derive pure pleasure from crafting three-dimensional objects and spaces that delight and overwhelm the senses of my viewers, allowing them to pulse between exquisite ache and abundance. This sensuous engagement with the viewer is a carefully choreographed seduction, arranged to offer a liminal, intimate encounter with the plush, lush and sugar-encrusted.  It is a practice in both comfort and discomfort.