Click on a thumbnail for a larger image or click here for a detailed view of Mary's work
Mary is an exciting new talent in the world of figurative ceramics. Her work is sculptural, figurative, painterly and expressive with an emphasis on human emotions and how they are translated in our faces. Her aim is to find different ways to convey these emotions, communicating them through ceramic practice, consequently giving each piece a ' presence '.
The process always starts with conversations. People like to talk about their childhood and the people who were significant to them. However some of Mary's more recent work is in response to conversations she has had with people in her every day life, the most recent focusing on conversations with strangers on train journeys.
She emphasizes the human emotions and feelings by embedding broken shards of crockery into the clay structure of the face. These shards represent memories, triggering the emotions embedded in our personalities.
Colour is key to Mary's work; these vibrant colours are achieved by using porcelain slips, under glazes and oxides. It is important to her that her work is immediate, loose and playful. By working this way she endeavours to capture the essence of who we are, revealing our internal worlds.
Mary attended university in her late forties after bringing up two children and running arts and crafts classes for people with learning disabilities for ten years. In Mary's second year at university she went to Germany and worked with Elke Sada, which inspired her hugely. She graduated in 2013 with a First (Hons) from Cardiff Metropolitan University and was selected for the Student residency at Fireworks Clay Studios in Cardiff for one year. She also won the Potclays Student Award at Art in Clay as well as winning the Welsh Assembly Government Minister of Heritage Award 2013.
Mary's work is available at Kellie Miller Arts.