Today we’d like you to meet Ceramicist and Printmaker Alice Mara
Alice was born in 1972 in Wolverhampton and the family moved to Walthamstow in 1973 and then on to Lewes, East Sussex in 2012. Her late father, Tim Mara, was a brilliant printmaker and was very much an influence on the artistic path that she has taken over the years.
Alice studied for her degree in ceramics at Harrow College, and in 2001 went on to do a Masters in ceramics at the Royal College of Art. Harrow College was a practice based course where she learned many ceramic techniques, it was there that Alice experimented with ways of combining print and clay.
However, at the Royal College of Art Alice began to concentrate more on the use of colour photography and the conceptual ideas behind the pieces. This is where she discovered the fantastic process of the digital transfer system, which made it possible to easily develop and actualize her ideas. Combining both art forms on her objects means Alice’s pieces stand out from the more traditional techniques.
The sense of place has been a recurring theme in her work. The pieces become narratives of her surrounding environment. She illustrates the buildings, culture and landscapes that are familiar to her by decorating the ceramic forms entirely with colourful digital imagery.
The layers of the story evolve as the ceramics pieces are created. Often the form can dictate the imagery and the two practises run alongside each other.
In 2010 Alice was delighted that Grayson Perry opened her show Mara and Mara at the Eagle Gallery dressed as Alice in Wonderland!
Combining traditional ceramic techniques with contemporary digital processes is something that Alice has been exploring for some time. Her hanging people range of ceramics is influenced by the friezes that once decorated Grecian Urns. The contemporary take on today’s “heroes” hanging off the rims of her pots – really her family members Alice made hang off the door frame to pose for these pieces of work!
Alice was interested in the texture and colours of their clothes, and the different styles we wear. Look closely, doesn’t it feel like everyone is hanging off the rims for dear life!
Here at Heart Gallery we currently have Alice’s small but perfectly formed bowls … just the job for olives and nibbles. These are collectable art pieces that have a function as well as a witty and aesthetic value. Furthermore, Alice can work to commission with you and can incorporate your family, friends, and even pets on a large bowl for £365 so please do talk to us if you would like to have a bespoke bowl made by her. The finished bowl measures approximately 30cms diameter by 15cms height and there is room for up to twenty hanging people and animals.