For background on the artist and works, see below.
About the ArtistOver the past 25 years, Mary McFarlane has developed a strong following among collectors for her transformations of mirrors, especially vintage pieces, into artworks full of mystery and memory, intensely personal to herself and to the viewer. Some of her recent works return to the Waterfall motif, with acknowledgment to Colin McCahon’s influence on the waterfall becoming part of our visual identity. She has also continued her acclaimed Moon series works, based on the feeling the full moon inspires when it rises at certain times of the year, enormous and mystical, full of portent. Sometimes these feature a sublime corona of pure gold dust worked around the moons, inspired by the light of a brilliant sunshower. McFarlane recently participated in the Meretoto/Ship Cove project with The Diversion Gallery, responding to the place of most sustained contact between Māori and Cook, particularly resulting in works related to the Transit of Venus. A graduate of the University of Canterbury (1986) and later the prestigious RMIT in Melbourne, Mary McFarlane has become best known for her work on vintage mirrors, carrying layers of meaning embedded in the history and forms of the mirrors themselves. Her actual process remains as mysterious as the moons themselves, as David Eggleton described in a review in Art New Zealand in 2012: ‘McFarlane has learnt how to endow her mirrors with magic, alluding to the aura of inner beauty, to the dark side of the self.’
McFarlane has painted into vintage and antique mirrors for over 25 years, transforming the surface into rivers of light. She has featured in several public gallery exhibitions including an installation Hikoi at the Wellington Museum of City and Sea and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
A recent suite of miniatures captures the ephemeral quality of her large works in pieces that are like jewellery for the walls. The poem in La Loma refers to a stanza by poet Warren Dibble.
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