Mari French is emerging as one of East Anglian's most respected abstract painters. Mari now lives and works in Norfolk, having grown up in Manchester close to the brooding Pennine hills. The roots of her paintings lie in her deep-seated affinity with landscape and weather, capturing the elemental forces of these wild landscapes.
Mari says about her painting, “my abstract mixed media paintings are not static; there is a fluidity and softness to their makeup. I try to evoke the constant shift of weather and light on a place and this is reflected in the sense of movement and change in the work itself. Billowing colour, a play of line and mark, and the layering and wiping back of paint, give a sense of seeing through and beyond the surface. Places that prompt my artworks range from the North Norfolk saltmarsh coast or the rugged coastline of Cornwall, to the light-filled stretches of the Venetian lagoon. I sketch on location but in the studio I'm an intuitive and experimental painter working from memory, using a variety of media to evoke my experience of a place rather than a recognisable representation”.
Mari studied art and design at Stockport College in the 1980s. She moved to the Isle of Skye in 1995, where she lived for 15 years.
Mari has exhibited widely in East Anglia, in London, Yorkshire and Scotland. Key exhibitions include the Mall Galleries in London, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour exhibition 2016, 2017,2018 and 2020 and as a finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine's 'Artist of the Year' 2016, and a finalist in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014.
Mari has also had work selected for the Royal Watercolour Society's Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2018 and 2019 at the Bankside Gallery, London.
Her work is held in both national and international private collections.
Mari is a member of the Institute of East Anglian Artists (IEA).
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