Mary gained a BA (hons) in fine art at Sheffield Hallam University in 1993 and an Art foundation course at London College of Printing 1989.
Since then she has taught in various educational contexts, including schools, young people’s projects, and arts residencies. She has worked with the Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust on the National Portrait Gallery Project, running workshops with schools interpreting loans from the National Portrait Gallery and the Graves portrait collection. In 2006 She visited Somaliland, East Africa, with MAMA East African Women’s Project where she made photographic documentation of local women market traders. She has illustrated two educational books about Nomadic Women in Somalia and Asylum Seekers both published in 2007.
She has won several regional arts awards including an Arts portfolio Award from West Midlands Arts, resulting in an exhibition of her work and artist talks at Midlands Art Centre in Birmingham. A travel award from Yorkshire and Humberside arts and the Nehru Centre India, enabled her to learn dance, yoga and traditional arts in Madhya Pradesh, India, this resulted in a residency, where she delivered arts workshops to students at Corpus Christi School in Kerala India.
Since 2006 she has been a studio holder at Portland Works, an old cutlery works complex in Sheffield. Having recently moved within the complex to a large, light, airy space, which she shares with four other artists, her work has changed from figurative to abstract. One of the main themes of this new work is about a sense of place and the space she occupies both externally and her personal inner space. She uses both photography and drawing as an integral part of her practice, collecting details of shapes, colours, and textures of the environment she occupies. This currently gives form to her painting which aims to express that which is dynamic, the movement of where we are now.
Mary delivers art workshops from her studio at Portland Works. She also teaches English to Speakers of Other Languages delivering workshops which combine ESOL and Art to community groups in Sheffield.