Mary Gillett

My starting points are often found on Dartmoor and the north Cornwall coastline. My images are contemplations on how our surroundings can reflect our histories, moods and thoughts. I specialise in etching, a medium that has been developed by artists for its own intrinsic qualities and is now often used to produce single images as individual as paintings.

My etchings almost look as if they have been eroded by the elements themselves. The metal plates have been scored, furrowed, scraped, burnished, re-scored and re-furrowed until their history is symbolic of the very subject confronting me. This tactile immediacy is of the essence and combines with the use of light and dark to create images of intense atmosphere. I sometimes apply etching principles to the medium of collagraph so that I can work on a larger scale to reflect my love of painting which continues to influence everything I do.

As a member of the South West Academy, the Plymouth Society of Artists and the 21 Group of Artists, I exhibit widely at key venues in the west country. I have been selected on many occasions to show work at the Royal West of England Academy and the National Print Shows at the Bankside Gallery, London.

Born in 1953 I moved to Devon with my parents in 1956. I left home to study art in 1975 and by 1984 had achieved an honours degree in Fine Art at the University of the West of England, and a PGCE and postgraduate diploma in Printmaking at Brighton University before moving back to Devon in 1988.

I have over 25 years’ experience of teaching printmaking having founded Tamar Print Workshop in 1992. I offer courses exploring a range of techniques and the studio, set in a beautiful position on the edge of Dartmoor, has become a vibrant hub for numerous local artists and printmakers. I enjoy the continuous exchange of ideas generated from this atmosphere and see my teaching as integral to my overall practice.