Mary Aline – How my work came about …
When I discovered sculpting, first with clay, later with other media, it was as if I had found a soul-satisfying answer to a persistent unconscious question. I have long been fascinated, by the human form and its expressiveness—how we are all sculpted by life, just as trees are sculpted by the wind—thus, unconsciously, presenting to the world a vivid sculpture of who we are.
I grew up in the countryside of southern England. As a child, often alone, I wondered freely amidst woodlands, heathlands, streams and meadows that stretched all the way to the sea. I just knew that fairies and elves and all manner of woodland spirits abided everywhere; amongst the trees, grasses, heathers and hedgerows; around the streams, and ponds, and especially where toadstools sprouted. Wildlife was my company as I climbed high into towering chestnut trees, and clambered mossy boughs of ancient oaks. I ‘courageously’ explored darker mysterious places, brightened by curly ferns, among the tree trunks. Spying on foxes, squirrels and moorhens; or hiding out by a badger set hoping to meet venerable Mr. Brock were thrilling pastimes; likewise unexpectedly meeting a snake or hedgehog, or finding mushrooms were big events. It was a magical childhood and all rich reference material for later life.
Always yearning to make art of some kind—youthful plans for art school were not to be—time spent in France, the middle East, then living, working, marrying and raising children in London—later a life-changing move to California and work in the technical world of Silicon Valley—eventually I discovered clay in the 90s, taking time out to attend a weekend ceramic workshop—I was hooked I fell in love with the medium and everything about it.
2001 brought me more time for clay. I took every class and workshop I could, and found fellow artists and artist-teachers to be some of the best people on the planet! I participated in an art study-tour to China, and also joined a group of potters traveling to Japan to work in studios in Mashiko and Shigaraki. I began showing my work and participating in open studios.
My art making takes many forms: statues, ‘jardinières’, plaques and ‘curious containers’, but I hope to express in them something of the personal observations, mystical and visionary that we all experience in being human.
Mary Aline, June 2012