Mary Thorp has always been driven by the need to make things and she is so impatient that the minute she thinks of a project it has to happen ‘now’ – in every area of her life!
Digital photography, modern printing techniques and responsive computer packages are therefore the ideal medium for her. It is not the photograph but the image she can produce from it that matters to her.
Mary’s initial pieces, years ago, reflected a love of collage and were long horizontal montages of Pembrokeshire landscapes. It was a natural progression to start to manipulate the colours within the photos to produce more abstract, contemporary images of huge skies and changing light.
Her work is always sparse and simple, profiling the architectural forms of seed heads, grasses and winter trees in silhouette. She often thinks you have to look at things in life in a reverse format or from another direction to see them properly.
She lets nature and sunlight do all the work – she suddenly sees just what she is looking for illuminated across the landscape and takes a spontaneous photo. Mary is only really interested in the photo once she opens the computer and starts fiddling to find the stark image that captures the moment. She can get lost in the screen for hours, painting with the computer.
Her art work is an extension of her work as a considered and thoughtful designer. Presentation, natural materials and impeccable construction techniques are important to her. Her choice of paper and ink makes a huge difference to the look of the finished piece. Archival pigment inks soak into the beautiful art paper, producing vibrant, deeply saturated images.
Further to her individual work, Creative Thorp is a vehicle for other creativity within the family and encompasses a small independent publishing imprint, Raw Mixture Publishing. Collectively they produce an enticing mix of all things printed – art, cards, stationery items, illustrated children’s books, evocative poetry, poetic essays and fiction.
Artists’ profiles are usually only a small part of any individual’s story and – like most people – Mary’s day to day life is full of lots of other stuff. She is always designing something! Mary classifies herself as a designer maker first, rather than an artist and she loves building, refurbishment, renovating, dress making, sorting and any amount of exercising!
Mary loves coming up with small enticing stationery products to sell. These collaborative projects start life as animated conversations around the big table in the family barn. Her husband Steve is a writer, therapist, poet and coach. People are very drawn to his work and she uses his words along with their daughter Ruth’s gorgeous illustration and lay-up skills to produce covetable little items.
Mary is completely inspired by her surroundings and her family; loving visits from her other daughters and grand-daughters to their barn that is almost by the beach against the back drop of the crazy Pembrokeshire skies and Atlantic weather systems.
We are delighted to stock Mary’s prints and cards now alongside her husband’s books and Ruth’s prints and cards … what a super talented family the Thorps are indeed so if you’ve not yet discovered them do call in to Heart Gallery soon. x