Mary Mackay is an artist based in Stirling and Edinburgh. She became a full time artist after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art with Honours in Painting in 2014. Prior to that she taught biology and science.
Mackay is best known for her paintings, often abstract pieces, in which there can be a fine line between chaos, order and form.
Her abstract work is built up in layers where 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.
She creates a metaphor on canvas of a journey in the literal and temporal sense from her surroundings.
Mackay has travelled through some of the wilder parts of Scotland and in particular West Stirlingshire that resonates most and provides ideas. These experiences as well as involvement with biological sciences provide a broad and rich tapestry from which her visual imagery can be realised. This has contributed to her imagery as well as previous involvement in biological sciences. Creating a woodland garden in her Stirlingshire home has recently fed into this narrative.
On recent works on paper, she revisits techniques and ideas from previous years, in which she prints, collages and draws. Seed heads and flowers of plants from her Stirlingshire garden have been used to make marks, creating works, which she refers to as ‘Plant Calligraphy’