Mary Pulford has completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at VizArts (TafeSA), O’Halloran Hill, majoring in printmaking, and has also completed Honours (First Class) at UniSA.
Mary uses copper etching, linocuts, and photopolymer techniques to explore themes ranging from observation of the natural world through to childhood memories. In combination with printmaking, Mary enjoys creating Artists’ Books, often experimenting with form, function and materials. In addition to her passion for printmaking, Mary enjoys painting with both oils and acrylics and is currently learning about watercolour. Mary teaches both children’s and adults art classes, and as a result of this has to be confident in a range of techniques and media including drawing, painting, mosaics and ceramics, as well as printmaking.Mary exhibits her work regularly, and has work at Art Images Gallery, Urban Cow Studio and Gallery, Pepper Street Arts Centre and Red Poles Gallery. Mary has taken part in many previous group exhibitions throughout Adelaide, selected exhibitions interstate, and in the U.K. Mary’s work is held in private collections in Australia, U.K., Canada and U.S.A.
Mary is also an active member of both Bittondi Printmakers Association Inc and the Willunga Artisans Market.
Artists Residency on Flinders Island, Tasmania.
Mountain Seas Retreat is located near Trousers Point, on the southwestern corner of Flinders Island. With the Strzelecki National Park almost in the back yard, sandy beaches and rugged coastal areas within easy walking distance, it was an ideal place to immerse myself in the natural environment and concentrate on my art practice. I was delighted to be accepted for the minimum stay of two weeks.
In late September, I flew from Adelaide to Melbourne, and then the adventure started with a flight on a small plane from Essendon to Whitemark. I was collected from the airport by Annie Wilkins, and given an orientation of Whitemark, gravel roads, Trousers Point Beach, the studio, the facilities of the retreat, and the amazing scenery. I quickly started to immerse myself in this isolated community, acquainting myself with the abundance of wildlife. I nearly tripped over a tiger snake on the first afternoon, but, more commonly, my sightings were of wallabies, wombats and pademelons. There is a huge variety of birdlife – a highlight was spotting a white-bellied sea eagle. I took opportunities to explore both the variety of landscapes, to examine the plant life and the history of this beautiful and remote island.
Mountain Seas Retreat has an art studio, though no printing press at this stage so I relied on hand burnishing. Still, what better opportunity to draw, paint or photograph the wilderness? Part of the residency requires that the artist give something back to the island community. I offered both a linocut demonstration and an introduction to watercolour techniques for islanders to attend. I was also able to display some of my prints in the Mountain Seas Retreat gallery.
Residencies are generally offered between April and October each year, with full details and application forms available on the Mountain Seas website. Life on a small island was a fabulous experience. It was wonderful not to have to squeeze artwork in between having a proper job. Along the way I learnt a number of things. Such as, even if you have a Telstra phone, connections are not always reliable – so if you are addicted to social media, and always being connected, this is a unique opportunity to take a break. The supply boat comes in usually on a Tuesday, so go food shopping on Wednesday. Many of the roads are gravel, with soft shoulders. Drive slowly, and look out for the huge amount of wildlife.
Challenge yourself – if you don’t give it a go, you’ll never know what you can achieve. Mt Strzelecki was looming over the southern part of the island, and I could view the peaks from my room, so my challenge was to climb that mountain. Yes, I made the summit, at 756 metres. I was grateful for the little orange arrows marking the way. During this climb, these markers became symbolic of all the steps and achievements I have made, since starting my arts degree in 2001, and inspiration to keep on trying to be the best artist I can be.
The artwork created from this residency will be exhibited in my first solo exhibition Forty•Degrees•South which will be held at Urban Cow Studio, Adelaide, 5 to 28 May, 2016.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS 2014-15
2015: Winged Images. Hahndorf Academy.
2015: Keen for Cats. Pepper Street, Magill.
2014: Black and White. Red Poles, McLaren Vale.
2014: Little Treasures. Pepper Street Arts Centre, Magill.
2014: Bears and Blooms. Print Exchange and exhibition. Red Poles, McLaren Vale.
2014: Catalyst. Mrs. Harris Shop, Torrensville.
2014: Compact Prints, Umbrella Studio, Townsville.
2014: Inked II. Urban Cow Studio and Gallery, Adelaide.
2014: Artists Books 9. Matilda Bookshop, Stirling.
2014: Carnival of the Canines. Print Exchange and Exhibition, Firestation Studio, Vic.
2014: Pure and Simple. The Artisan Café, Blackwood.
2014: Her Place. Inkwell, Leeds, UK.