Artist statement

My art practice deals with nature, and also culture and traditions and exploring their place in a contemporary sense.

The landscape is a constant source of stimulation to me. I find that I have a need for investigation of that deep connection between humans and the land. The inspiration for this project is drawn from essence of the landscape that is my local forests, hills, bogs and moors that lie on either side of the border between North Kilkenny and North Tipperary

My starting point within the research involved taking photographs, sketching outdoors and gathering organic materials from the local environment. Combined, they are then used for inspiration back in the studio, where the creative process is intuitive and spontaneous.

A wide range of physical materials are used for sculpting, such as wood from the hazel and ash trees, leaves, ferns, reeds, sods of turf, cloth, wool and paper. Experimentation with these organic materials set the mood of my work. A sensitive approach to the particular qualities of each material helps decide the ultimate result. Here, I create Hybrid Artworks; sculptures that also incorporate print on cloth.

Mark making is used to express the psychic in the land, that have been absorbed over time from the stories of the people that have lived there, generation after generation. The process involves creating gestural marks,

some controlled and some uncontrolled. All colours used to create the marks in the prints are derived only from natural materials such as leaves, buds and tree bark.

The hazel rods are used to build the sculptures in response to the space in both the landscape and in the studio. Interested in what is absent in my sculptures, I have also found that while working in the core of the handleability, my best designs arrive. Considerations are given to the relationship of the sculptural forms with the larger spaces surrounding it. How each piece engages with each other dictates the final installation.

About the artist

Mary Burke, a Kilkenny based artist studied Fine Art (Level 5) &(Level 6) at Colaiste Mhuire, Thurles & Ormonde College, Kilkenny before undertaking a BA (Honours) in Visual Art, South East Technological University. More information about her work can be found on instagram @marydoyleburke