Mary Lace

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As a painter the compelling and fascinating activity of creating an illusion in paint on a flat surface keeps me wedded to realism. Still life is my preferred genre since it allows me to create an entirely novel ‘motif’ from which to work. It also allows me to work from life for a sustained period of time.
My choice of content varies but is always guided by abstract qualities rather than by ‘meaning’ or ‘narrative’. These abstract qualities of colour and tonal harmonies and balance; rhythms of form and line; ambiguities of shape and space also affect the arrangement of the content and its relationship within the rectangle of the painting.
Once I begin to study the group more deeply I discover many more rich and unexpected visual pleasures. As the still life takes on its form, the activity of manipulating colour and the use of tone to create texture, depth and volume, is both endlessly challenging and rewarding.
The painters I admire (among many others) are William Nicholson for the simplicity and directness of his content; Cezanne for his powerful compositions and for his uncompromising honesty; Manet and all his painterly predecessors for their sensuous handling of paint.
I was born in Aberdare, South Wales in 1944. I trained for my degree in Bath Academy of Art, Corsham in the 1960s.My career has been in teaching Art and History of Art in Lady Margaret School, Howardian High School and Coleg Glan Hafren, all in Cardiff.I now free lance as an Art History lecturer. I have given several series of lectures in St David’s Hall and have been invited as a guest lecturer to a variety of groups in Cardiff, the Vale and the Valleys. I also lecture on a permanent basis to two Cardiff U3A Art Appreciation Groups. For many years I designed the posters and programme covers as publicity artist for Cardiff Little Theatre .My work has been shown in several group exhibitions, is in many private collections and I have had two solo exhibitions: one in the New Theatre, Cardiff and the other in 2014, in the Norwegian Church in the Bay.