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Artist statement

Exploring the connections within the natural world and between humankind and nature is central to my artistic practice. Nature’s rhythms and patterns are all around us.  How does humankind see itself in relation to nature – as part of nature or as separate, perhaps even superior to nature? Having worked in the environmental field for over 30 years, this question frequently occupies my thoughts.  My familiarity with scientific language translates into a preference for an abstract language of expression in my art.  This also reflects the notion that in nature there remains much that is unknown and that cannot be explained purely on scientific grounds.

In recent years, I have been focusing on the subject matter of water as a means of exploring the human-nature connection. Our bodies are made up of mostly water – an absolute manifestation of our connection to nature.  As my preference is to engage with nature on an experiential level, I constantly seek ways to directly interact with nature in my art making. Rain, dew and mist become not only sources of inspiration but also a means of creating imagery on the surface on which I am working.  I collect natural materials from the forest where I live, which become the tools for applying paint to the surface on which I am working.   

Another aspect of my focus on water is derived from my direct experience of the 2017 Great Fire in the Sedgefield/Knysna area, which started on the farm next door to where I live.  It originated from a lightning storm in a period of extreme drought. The themes of fire and water in my work are therefore both highly personal and scientifically derivative.

Mary-Jane Morris Contemporary Artist Wetdecks Contemporary Art
Mary-Jane Morris Contemporary Artist Wetdecks Contemporary Art
Mary-Jane Morris Contemporary Artist Wetdecks Contemporary Art

Working in nature with ink on raw canvas in the company of water sprayers. The water source is groundwater.

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