Mary Sewell is an artist and a maker and works from her studio at Portland Works a former cutlery factory in Sheffield

 She paints and sculpts in clay and her practice is an organic, open work structure.  Her interest lies in the earth and her exploration into materials; earth pigments, clay,  detritus,  recycled materials and found objects.  She uses found pigment both to paint with and in her ceramic sculptures. Her work is figurative and is influenced by prehistoric figurines from around the world and ancient cultures. Her process is one of excavation  and in the making she reveals and often transforms the unconscious to uncover something of what is beneath the skin.

In her early years she travelled extensively in Asia, middle East, and Africa and became influenced by ancient cultures and art.  Having walked amongst the tomb raided sites of Siwa, an urban oasis in Egypt within the Great Sand Sea,  picking up remains of funereal wrappings and  holding small pieces of the past in her hands.   Climbing into the Bhimbetka caves in Madhya Pradesh where she saw some of the oldest cave paintings known, made from prehistoric dyes and pigments.   From the ancient site of Giza to the beautiful natural forms of the termite structures found in Somalia.  The colours and textures of these places, often in and around the desert and rooted in the earth,  have stayed with her and found a lasting resonance within her work and these influences can be seen in her paintings and sculptures.

When she speaks of her practice she says:  ‘ I believe within, our unconscious presides in another world; a world which exists in tandem with everyday life.  My practice allows me to become absorbed in the moment and here I can inhabit a more mindful state where these two can worlds meet’