Mari French IEA

Mari French is a full-time visual artist, working from her studio in a former 1930s airbase in North Norfolk. Her main inspiration is the constant shift of weather and light on the landscape and this is reflected in the sense of movement and change in her abstract mixed media paintings. Billowing colour, a play of line and mark, and the layering and wiping back of the paint, giving a sense of seeing through and beyond the surface. Places that prompt her artworks range from the Norfolk saltmarsh coast to the rugged coastline of Cornwall and beyond. Mari sketches on location but in the studio is an intuitive and experimental painter using a variety of media to evoke her experience of a place rather than a recognisable representation.
Mari was born in Manchester and spent her early years close to the brooding Pennine hills, going on to study art and design in the 1980s. After a career in graphic design, she moved to the Isle of Skye in 1995, where she lived for 15 years, increasingly painting and exhibiting her abstracted artworks. Since 2009 she has lived in Norfolk, working full-time as a contemporary mixed-media artist.
Mari is represented by several galleries throughout the UK and regularly exhibits at the Mall Galleries, London: with the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 2016 to 2020; as a finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine’s ‘Artist of the Year’ 2016; and a finalist in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014. She has also had work selected for the Royal Watercolour Society’s Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2018 and 2019 at the Bankside Gallery, London. Her work is held in national and international private collections and she is a member of the Institute of East Anglian Artists (IEA).

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours – Mall Galleries 2016/17/18/19/20
RWS ‘Contemporary Watercolours’ – Bankside Gallery, 2018/19.
‘Restlessness: the East Anglian Landscape’ – Gallery East, Woodbridge, 2019/20
‘Surface: women abstract artists in East Anglia’ – Gallery East, Woodbridge, 2019/20
Grapevine Gallery, Burnham Market, Norfolk, solo exhibitions, 2017/18/19
Gallery Different, London – group exhibition with Sheridan Russell Gallery, 2018
Claremont Contemporary Art, Sevenoaks, Kent, group exhibitions, 2018/19
Bils & Rye, Kirkbymoorside, N. Yorks – group exhibitions, 2018/2019
Cricket Fine Art, Chelsea, London – Summer Exhibition, 2017
Artists & Illustrator ‘Artist of the Year’ – Finalist, Mall Galleries, London, 2016
Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition – Finalist, Mall Galleries, 2014
’Coastlines’ – Greyfriars Art Space, King’s Lynn, solo exhibition, 2014
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh, 2013-2017
’Inside Out’ – Highgate Contemporary, London, 2012

“The Woven Tale Press” – Literature & Fine Art Magazine, October 2019
“Painting clouds and skies in oils” – Mo Teeuw, Crowood Press, 2017
“The Artist Magazine” – July 2016 (feature)
“Blyth Spirit” – Alan Marshall, Mascot Media 2014
“KL Magazine” – 2014 (feature)
“How artists see East Anglian Places” – Green Pebble 2010


Page Updated – June 2020

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