Featured Artist: Maria Tarrant
Published: 02 June 2016
Since graduating in 2015, multi-disciplinary artist Maria Tarrant has been appointed as Artist in Residence at Highland College, a position she will hold for the next two years. As a student Maria was a two time finalist for Gallery Magazine's Student Art Awards and the Original Open Art Competition. Aside from her private commissions, Maria's work has been at Festivals (including Branchage) and in local shop windows. Maria's artwork has been exhibited both in Jersey as well as abroad and has won awards including in the JJ Fox competition and the Memorial Prize for Life Drawing Award from Henry Thomas Bosdet Foundation. As a first-timer for Skipton Open Studios we're delighted to have Maria on board with us this year. She's going to be sharing the beautiful and atmospheric space at National Trust for Jersey's Grève de Lecq Barracks with Christine Witham, Hugh Knaggs, Joyce Berry, Naomi Renouf, and Susan McGarry, so those visiting her Open Studio will be in for a real treat. We spoke with Maria to find out more about her work ahead of the weekend at the Barracks....
"What mediums do you work with?
I like to incorporate old fashion techniques with new technology as this contrast always fascinates me. I’ve experimented with many different disciplines including installations, drawing, painting, collage, textiles, sculpturing and animation.
How would you describe yourself as an Artist?
I like to create work that gets a reaction from the viewer. I always want to keep pushing the boundaries and experiment with different approaches, techniques, materials and colour. Through my work I often use symbolism as a form of artistic sarcasm, to twist status, be playful, and surprise the viewer.
Have you taken part in Skipton Open Studios before?
This is my first time of taking part in the Open Studios and I love the idea, although I did take part in the projection exhibition last year.
How did you first get into Art?
I remember myself as always having a strong connection with art and since I was a child I carried pens, brushes, papers or a camera with me. As a child I earned my first pocket money by selling my small paintings and drawing to friends. Later I was painting murals mainly for friends and family. Then I got involved in making installations and more collaborative art work. When I stopped working as a biologist in order to start a family, this was the catalyst for me to re-visit my passion for art. I studied at Highland College and gained an Art Foundation Certificate followed by a degree in Art and Design.
Who is your creative inspiration?
My inspiration comes from both famous and unknown sources including musicians, storytellers and visual artists. Artists such as Hannah Hoch, Williem de Kooning, Pina Bausch, Marc Quinn top my list of favourites. When I have the chance to travel I would always try to visit any local galleries or current events and exhibitions. Nevertheless, I should also add that I value people as much as places as a source of inspiration and the diversity of the people I have met whilst working and living in different communities and cultures has afforded me a wealth of contrasting experiences which I both value and draw upon as an artist here in Jersey.
Why should we visit your Studio?
I normally work at Highlands College or from the small studio kindly provided to me by my good friend and fellow artist Billie Newey but for the Skipton I will be joining 6 other artists at the Greve de Lecq Barracks. This will be a unique experience offering the chance to see diverse disciplines in a beautiful location.
What have you been doing so far in preparation for this year’s Open Studios?
Between trying to control my bouts of panic and excitement I have been producing some paintings and sculptures with the aim of letting colour take centre stage
What can we expect from you from this year’s Open Studios?
My work is in a transitional stage as I move towards a new body of work that I develop over the next two years
Describe Jersey’s creative scene in 5 word
“Diverse, inspirational and energetic x2”
Diversity, inspiration and energy is what we like at Open Studios! It sounds like Maria has been working hard in preparation for this year's project. Visit Maria's artist profile to find links to her website, her contact details and a map of where to find Grève de Lecq Barracks during the West weekend of Open Studios: 25th + 26th June, 10:00AM - 5:00PM.