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Mary Ayling


San Jose, California, USA

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Artist Bio:

Mary Ayling is a visual artist working within the cross section of sculpture and intimate exchange. Growing up in Toledo, OH, Ayling began working with glass at the age of 16 at the Toledo Museum of Art, and while her practice has expanded to include other methods and materials, she has continued to use its vocabulary of weight, volume and transparency as inspiration for her explorations in visualizing common relational issues such as empathy, loss and misunderstanding. Through the creation of sculptural objects and carefully choreographed interactions, her works live as objects, gestures and printed matter. Ayling received her MFA from the University of Michigan (2015) and her BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design (2005). She currently lives and works in San Jose, CA.


Fred Feinberg + Lu Zhang

Artist Statement:

It’s hard to understand a commitment. As someone who is perpetually fascinated and repulsed by the idea of forever commitments, I find them everywhere in life. Most commonly associated with romantic relationships, forever commitments quietly seep into our work, our identities, and our everyday interactions.

How we value one another continually ebbs and flows, and sometimes we are flushed with excitement, while other times find us pressed to remember our passions. The Forever Stamp, however, will be delivered First Class, no matter the postal rate, date or year.

When trying to wrap my mind around the length of time that Forever might be, I researched the life expectancy of a white female living in the United States. Averaging the 5 states I have lived in so far (Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and California) for an expected death age of 87.2, minus my current age (34) generates 53.12 years of commitment.

When a chance email exchange revealed an opportunity for me to experience the varied elations and burdens of a promise of delivery – no matter what, for approximately 53.12 years – I happily accepted the position as the Long Form Relationship Network.

I look forward to spending a lifetime together.