Mary Morris is an artist living in East Sussex. She uses a variety of media, including oil and encaustic painting, photography and textiles to convey her abiding interest in both the natural and man-made landscape.
My work explores the connection between time and memory and how it affects our relationship with place. Each place has layers of signification that trace the natural and man-made past. Marks in the landscape are traces of past events, signs of occupation and evidence of lives lived. Our memories (even fragmentary recollections and half-remembered narratives) combine with what we see to inform our response to place. Places reveal and conceal their past and provide a sort of visual archaeology or accretion which can disclose an interplay between the objective and historical, and the personal and interpretive.
A great many artists whose work relates to landscape, describe walking as a vital element in their practice. It has become clear to me, however, that while walking is necessarily a part of exploring and understanding landscape, more important is time for stillness and quiet absorption when sometimes even the meditative rhythm of walking can become an intrusion.
Photography plays an important role in my work – it can be a way of collecting and recording visual information, a sort of mechanical sketchbook, or it can be an intrinsic part of the work itself. I often use the camera as a way of looking without even taking a photograph at all, a way of seeing and instilling an image; absorbing the feel and atmosphere of a place or landscape.