A gorgeous textural blend of intensely detailed drawing and colourful printed textiles make up Mary Corum’s artworks. Architecturally precise buildings are set against art deco rose skies through which ducks fly. There’s a nod to the ceramic ducks that graced living room walls of yesteryear, and a celebration of cityscapes adjoined with a love of nature.
The results are multifaceted and layered as Mary plays out her artistic leanings coupled with the experience gained via a degree in interior furnishings and textiles design.
In fact, this particular degree led to Mary’s output in more ways than one.
“As a young child I always enjoyed drawing and making things,” she says. “In particular I enjoyed sewing, which probably where my love of textiles comes from. I love to work with fine detail, and as part of my initial degree I studied technical drawing. There’s nothing better than the feel of drawing with a Rotring (technical drawing) pen.”
Mary believes that her background in textiles and screen printing meant it seemed natural to print her drawn studies onto fabric, “giving them a much softer look. I then started to combine these drawings with my screen printed designs. I love the combination of the fine illustration and repeated patterns.”
If you live in Bristol, you’ll certainly see scenes you recognise them, though not, perhaps, as you’ve ever glimpsed them before. A sense of place is vivid in Mary’s work, unsurprising given that she says the seeds for her designs often begin with “subjects close to my heart and the places I have visited. My first illustration in this series was a result of my time spent living in Sydney – I love the line and shape found in the harbour bridge and the Opera House. On moving to Bristol I felt the same about the Suspension Bridge and the iconic views of where I now live.”
Mary lives in Southville, south of the river, “so some of the views are local to my immediate area, but I also love to capture the wider areas of the city which has so many iconic views which makes Bristol such a great place to live and work. My artwork ventures into Bath too, and London where I am from originally.”
Focusing her attention to detail on a smaller scale, Mary also produces exquisite insect studies.
“The Moths and beetles were a result of a local community project,” she says. “I was keen to draw on the beautiful lines and patterns found in these insects.”
Other influences abound. “My love of Charles Rennie Mackintosh was the inspiration behind my rose repeat, and my fondness for vintage china flying ducks can be seen in many of my works!”
As a qualified art teacher, as well as working artist, Mary feels fortunate to be able to pass on her skills, “watching children and adults alike finding enjoyment in art. I am very lucky to work in a field where I love what I do.”
You can see and purchase Mary’s work at www.marycorum.com, and find her at instagram.com/marydcorum. She also exhibits on Bristol’s art trails and at the following shops and galleries: Glass Designs in Southville, Dolly What Not in The Arcade, Broadmead, Makers on Colston Street and 7th Sea on Cheltenham Road.
Know an artist you’d like to see showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Give me a shout at judy(at)socketcreative.com.