Saturday, 30 March 2013

Artist of the Week - Mary Knowland

Mary Knowland is a painter. She will be exhibiting her work with the Arts-Inc Gallery at the Palace Art and Craft Fair.

At what age did you know you wanted to become an artist?
I was fourteen when I knew I wanted to be something to do with art. I ended up spending a year with Robin Welch in his ceramics studio, then a foundation course followed by two years at Harrow School of Art, as it was then, on their Studio Pottery course. I worked for quite a few years as a potter before taking a textiles course with the Open College of the Arts which took me back to my fine art roots, my father having been a painter. I have been painting and drawing ever since and teaching too.

Is being a an artist your only job? I also spend a small amount of time giving massage, Indian head massage and Reiki. Having done a little anatomy and physiology, I found that very informative with portraying the figure.  

If you could be anything else what would you be?
Don’t think I’ve ever thought of being anything other than someone creative with materials or people.

One favourite living artist?
At the moment, Ffiona Lewis. Love her freedom of paint combined with sense of structure and composition. She seems to feel what she paints.

One favourite historical artist?
Piero della Francesca. I love his beginnings of perspective, his composition and humanity in the work. Although his faces are stylised, maybe that’s a reference to our similarities as people over the centuries. Never been so stunned by a painting as standing in front of his ‘Ressurection’. Very Powerful.

Who / what has had most influence on your work?
Probably Picasso’s cubist phase has had the most influence on my work. The themes of space, position, what we know versus what we see and where we are in the world are recurring themes for me.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
The combination of things I do now are the most interesting to date!

What is your most prized item of art / design / craft?  
I have an unsigned but authenticated Picasso cubist litho print of a bottle of brandy on a Parisian café table. I love it’s simplicity, and the complexities of viewpoint.

What item of design / craft do you covet most?
A large piece of Robin Welch ceramics.

Last book / film that blew your mind?
The last book that blew my mind was ‘The Help’ and the last film ‘Life of Pi’.

What are you listening to?
Currently been listening to my son, DJ Sloth’s, album ‘A Few Household Chemicals’.

How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
I only use the internet for things I need to do or find out. Have no interest in wasting time that I could be using to make work.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Have no particular desire to live anywhere else, am very lucky. Wouldn’t mind a warmer climate though!

Where and what is your studio? My studio is in Oxfordshire and was a chicken shed on a working farm. We live and work in these ex farm buildings.

Three words that describe your feeling of doing your work?
Energizing, frustrating, fulfilling

Chips or mash?
Good crispy chips because they’re a treat!


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