Mary Gortani



Mary Gortani is a London-based artist. Her work explores the power and intelligence of nature as she challenges the notion of control by blurring the lines between the artist and the chemical forces in nature. Mary opens up a dialogue with nature and embraces the loss of control over the final results, leading to progressive and unpredictable changes. In her latest works and during her time in Itoshima, Mary is exploring the many facets of clay. She is collecting different types of local soil and clay and showcasing its painting properties that go beyond the common use in ceramics and sculpture. She deeply honours and believes in the intelligence imbued in raw and natural materials and finds their beauty showcased more strongly through emerging chaos and disorder. She is heavily influenced by the Arte Povera movement and the Gutai Group as well as Japanese Zen philosophy which her paintings strongly reference.

The parallel interest in material experimentation is linked to the intrinsic political significance of soil. From diasporic relationship to land and sovereignty, agriculture to indigenous relationships to earth and rock, this new body of work seeks to bring different perspectives to how we might think about what exists beneath our feet and our identity.

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