Mary Chapman

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Trained in Printed Textiles at Winchester School of Art, I have always had a great love of decorative art, texture and colour. As a child I was greatly encouraged by my mother, Mavis, who gave me creative freedom to explore images with paint and collage. These were highly inventive, using fabrics available and even chopping some fur off the dog to give hair to a character!

Later on during my formative years in Paris, studying at Les Arts Appliques, I was inspired by the great collage artists, appreciating the diversity and freedom found working in this way. The intense, bold colour and often humourous dynamic forms of my style make my work instantly recognizable. Cut and torn paper collage shapes are glued down with paint and/or monoprint line added. This basic printmaking technique to make a one-off print is achieved by using a perspex or glass plate which is inked up and paper is laid on top. Drawing on the back of the paper, the ink plays games of chance with the line quality and happy accidents often occur, the results of which are impossible to replicate.

Since 1988, I  have exhibited my work extensively in galleries and trade shows, including in London, Paris, New York as well as close to home in Sussex. Another love is communicating this mixed media approach through workshops and courses, which have been held widely through Paris, London and the south coast of England over a long period of time. Venues have included art centres, design colleges and prisons. I have worked in design studios in Paris such as Promostyl and Li Edelkoort, producing textiles and fashion forecasting boards for trade fairs.

The recent years have been spent exploring other avenues of creativity, concentrating more on the development of a new painting style using acrylics, computer art and design, as well as dance through tango and salsa, voicework, sacred clowning and watersports. This has also been a strong and healing family time, caring for both parents during their final years and dealing with many different aspects of life.


It comes from everywhere, looking at different cultures especially Japanese, African, Russian, Indian and Hawaiian. Different spiritual traditions influence me, including iconographic imagery, temples and trees of life. Animals such as elephants, tigers, lions and cats often feature in my work.

The natural environment also inspires -especially water and light- anything shiny, shimmering, glistening immediately translates into an iridescent surface of a collage. The joyful experience of swimming with dolphins in Hawaii and the Bahamas has also left a lasting impression on me.

The recycling of packaging and papers is a strong theme as well.... sequins, glitter, buttons and treasures of all sorts that are collected magpie-like by me.

The design of this website was a collaboration between Mary Chapman and Vidyadasa (Ady Griffiths). Great thanks to Vidyadasa of Inspiring Arts (see favourite links) who facilitated the learning of this new process.

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