about…

img_3804The inspiration for my abstract landscapes range from the wild expanse of the Norfolk saltmarsh coast, to the light-filled stretches of the Venetian lagoon. Artworks are a culmination of experimentation with a variety of media: paint, oil pastel, ink, etc – an unpredictable and exciting process resulting in a distillation of my experience and an expressive evocation of place.

I was born in Manchester and studied art and design at Stockport College in the 1980s. My subsequent career as a graphic designer eventually led me to relocate to the Isle of Skye in 1995, where, inspired by the incredible landscape, I increasingly, painted and exhibited. I now live in Norfolk, working full-time as a contemporary mixed-media artist, inspired by a very different but no less exciting landscape of saltmarshes, coastline and reedbeds.

In the last few years I have exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London: as a selected artist in the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours exhibition in 2016, 2017 and 2018; a finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine’s ‘Artist of the Year’ 2016; and a finalist in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014. I exhibit throughout the UK and my work is held in national and international private collections.

I am an Associate member of the Institute of East Anglian Artists (IEA) and a member of the IEA council. From 2016-2017 I was the IEA Social Media Manager.

GALLERY REPRESENTATION:
Thompsons, Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Market, Norfolk.
BritishContemporary.Art

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2017:
Selected artist, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) Mall Galleries.
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh, Autumn Exhibitions.
Institute of East Anglian Artists (IEA) Annual Exhibition, Holt, Norfolk.
Summer exhibition, Cricket Fine Art, Chelsea, London.
‘Painters’ curated by Hugh Pilkington, Cockley Cley, Norfolk.
‘Across the water’, Artichoke Gallery, East Sussex.
Affordable Art Fair Battersea, Sheridan Russell Gallery.

2016:
Selected artist, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) Mall Galleries.
‘Salt & Sand’ solo exhibition, Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Market, Norfolk.
Cley Contemporary 16, curated exhibition, North Norfolk.
Artists & Illustrators’ Artist of the Year Finalist, Mall Galleries, London.
Affordable Art Fair: Battersea/Chelsea/Hampstead, Sheridan Russell Gallery.
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh, Mixed exhibitions.

2015:
‘PAiNT’, The Undercroft, Norwich, Norfolk.
The Sutton Gallery, Edinburgh.
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh, Mixed exhibitions.
Art Fair East, Norwich.
Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Gallery, Norfolk, Mixed exhibitions.

2014:
‘Coastlines’ solo exhibition, Greyfriars Art Space, King’s Lynn.
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh, Mixed exhibitions.
Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Gallery, Norfolk, Mixed exhibitions.

2013:
‘Landmarks’ solo exhibition, Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Market, Norfolk.
‘Beneath the surface’ solo exhibition, Greyfriars Art Space, King’s Lynn.
Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Gallery, Norfolk, Mixed exhibitions.

2012:
‘Inside Out’ (2 artist show), Highgate Contemporary Art, London.
Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Gallery, Norfolk, Mixed exhibitions.

 

PRESS & PUBLICATIONS:

BOOKS:
‘Painting clouds and skies in oils’, Mo Teeuw, Crowood Press 2017
‘Blyth Spirit’, Alan Marshall, Mascot Media 2014
‘ART!’, guide book to the arts of East Anglia, Green Pebble 2011
‘How artists see East Anglian Places’, Green Pebble 2010

PRESS:
The Artist Magazine, July 2016 (feature)
KL magazine, September 2014 (feature)
Venue Magazine, Autumn 2014
Lynn News, 11 July 2014
Ham & High (Hampstead & Highgate) News, Review of ‘Inside Out’, July 2012

Her artworks are a culmination of experimentation with a variety of media: paint, oil pastel, ink, etc – an unpredictable and exciting process resulting in a distillation of her experience and a loose, atmospheric evocation of place.

Mari French was born in Manchester and studied at Stockport College of Art and Design in the 1980s. Her subsequent career as a graphic designer led her to relocate to the Isle of Skye in 1995, where she lived and worked as a graphic designer and artist until 2009. Now in Norfolk, she works full-time as a contemporary mixed-media artist. French was a selected artist in the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours 2016 at the Mall Galleries, finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine’s ‘Artist of the Year’ 2016 and finalist in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014. She exhibits throughout the UK and her work is held in national and international private collections. She was recently elected as an Associate member of the IEA (Institute of East Anglian Artists).

 

10 thoughts on “about…

    • I have Nigel, and no it’s not a daft question 😉
      my life as a serious artist took off when I lived on Skye, so much inspiration, you can imagine!
      the move to Norfolk was challenging from the inspiration side of things. though we both love living here, it’s taken a couple of years to find my new passion – the saltmarsh coast; it has a bleak beauty and grandeur all of its own. Norfolk is also well placed for exploring other areas of UK and Europe, so I can see upcoming bodies of work inspired by the North York Moors and Venice.

      • Hello Mari…

        Thanks I knew you had lots of new work from your wonderful paintings on this blog but its that exact transition I was wondering about.

        When I moved to Ireland I had to change a lot of my own visual interests and this took time like yourself. I love your Salt march images Mari and I can see how you can and will dig very deep into these areas as a source for your work.

        I am just starting to look at the peat bogs as I love the work of this artist http://www.pastelsocietyofireland.org/#/sam-mateer/4568792497

        I may even get painting and drawing again!

        Thank you Mari

        Nigel

        • I can imagine the peat bogs of Ireland would be an interesting source of inspiration, Neil. Those pastel images remind me very much of parts of Skye and the Uists. My mum was from Northern Ireland, though her family originated in Co Clare, so you never know, I may end up painting over there one day 🙂
          Thanks for the interesting feedback and chat!

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