My main inspiration has always been the landscape, particularly the coast. Since moving to Norfolk from the Isle of Skye in 2009, I have spent long hours walking and sketching the north Norfolk coast, with its wild expanse of reedbeds, salt marshes, sandbanks and creeks, building up a bank of inspiration for my mixed-media abstract landscapes back in the studio.
More recently, I’ve also been developing a new series of paintings inspired by visits to the Venetian lagoon with its own salt marsh landscape and abandoned islands providing an interesting counterpoint to my Norfolk work.
My 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 a loose, atmospheric evocation of place.
Gallery (click to view)
Mari French was born in Manchester and studied Art and Design at Stockport as a mature student. A subsequent career as a graphic designer eventually led her to relocate to the Isle of Skye in 1995, where she lived, worked and, increasingly, painted and exhibited. Now in Norfolk she works full-time as a contemporary mixed-media artist.
French had work selected and exhibited in the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours Exhibitions 2016 and 2017 at the Mall Galleries, London; she was a finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine’s ‘Artist of the Year’ 2016 and in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014. Her work has featured in several publications including ‘The Artist’ magazine.
French exhibits throughout the UK and has work in national and international private collections. She has carried out residencies at Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall (2014/2017) and at Stiwdio Maelor, Wales (2015).
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh, 2014 to present.
Cley Contemporary 16, Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, 2016
’Salt & Sand’ (solo), Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Market, 2016
Selected artist, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, Mall Galleries, 2016/2017
Finalist, Artists & Illustrators ‘Artist of the Year’, Mall Galleries, 2016.
Affordable Art Fairs: Battersea/Chelsea/Hampstead, with Sheridan Russell Gallery, 2016
’PAiNT’ exhibition, The Undercroft, Norwich, 2015
Art Fair East, Norwich, 2015
’Landmarks’ (solo), Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Market, 2014
The Sutton Gallery, Edinburgh, 2015
Greyfriars Art Space, King’s Lynn (solo), 2013/2014
’Inside Out’ (two artist show) Highgate Contemporary Art, London, 2012
Contact Mari French