Mary Mackay is an artist based in Stirling and Edinburgh. She creates a metaphor on canvas of a journey in the literal and temporal sense of her surroundings.. Cy Twombly stated that, “ for himself the past is the source,” meaning that our experiences are a deep well from which our ideas are drawn. Mackay has travelled extensively, but it is the time spent in wilder landscapes of Scotland and in particular West Stirlingshire that resonates most and provides ideas. These experiences as well as her previous involvement in biological sciences provides a broad and rich tapestry from which her visual imagery can be realised.
Built up in layers, unexpected combinations of colour and form can reveal the direction of the work and the original idea might only be glimpsed as ephemeral elements in the finished work
Mackay is working on a series of paintings under the heading of 'After the Poppies'
Barbara Rae is quoted recently on her need to go back to Arizona, ‘ There comes a point when you lose a connection with a place. That’s why I really need to go back.’
Rae is referring to the need to reconnect with the landscape, colour, light, smells and the feel of the place. Her work is about place and although places change through time they can be revisited.
Mackay’s recent work has been generated by the memory of people who are no longer in her present life; there can be no reconnection or revisits
Memories fade with time but often there is a sense of emotion the person evokes and that sense can be depicted, perhaps in colour or even the physicality of brushstrokes.
The vividness of the memory fades, facts become blurred and remembered incidents fractured. Instead of a running narrative of that person in your life only patches remain and these remembered only intermittently.
The paintings in this series attempt to embody these ideas.