Los Angeles artist Mary Little opens her first digital exhibition

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, May 30, 2024

Los Angeles artist Mary Little opens her first digital exhibition
Installation view.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Mary Little is a quintessential artist in American craft today. She is a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art and has showcased work around the world, with permanent collections in prestigious galleries and museums such as the Vitra Design Museum, Basel and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. She is best known for her sculptural textile works with a signature hand creating pieces that interact with light, surface and gravity.

Having grown up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Little is inspired by the gentle nature of the countryside which she evokes in her work through sensible serenity. Little began her career in furniture design in 1985. It was in 2014, and a move to Los Angeles that Little discovered heavy weight canvas and started working with it exclusively pushing herself to finally let go of the singular identity of a designer and evolve into a true artist. She has spent years mastering heavy weight canvas, giving shape to works that present themselves in a reserved and thoughtful manner. Her completed works are a representation of precision planning, her emotions, and the unpredictability of the canvas.

In what was intended to be a physical show of works curated in the Estudio Persona space, has been reimagined as a digital viewing room to ensure safety and social well being for our current covid state. During our global collective time of navigating a new world, it is only natural to take time to reflect on one’s life, honoring what came before to inform how we best move forward now.

Reflections, is a culmination of years of work that span Mary Little’s career. We invite you to view Mary Little’s most personal exhibition yet.

*The works in this digital exhibition are available. Twenty percent of each sale will go to “I Have a Dream” Foundation, for youth in under-served communities in Los Angeles, a not-for-profit in need of our support. "Imagine being able to contribute towards giving young individuals hope that they can be self-reliant and can create a future in their own vision.” - Mary Little

“At age 10, February 7, 1969, my sisters and I are picked up after school and driven to a new home. In just one day, my family had moved from a farm by the sea, surrounded by our wider family of farmers— to Belfast. This was a month before ‘The Troubles’ flared up.

At my new primary school in Belfast, I learned from the school kids that I had an accent. As I laughed with them, I learned to love my accent. At age 15, shopping in Belfast after school, in the run-up up to Christmas, I was walking quickly away from a bomb scare. Then suddenly, we’re being told to go the other way. “Don’t run. Quick, run!” It was confusing. There were bomb scares in multiple shops. As soldiers herded us along the road I wondered, “How can we know if any are real? Where is everyone going?"

At 17, I took a Saturday job in a petrol station which was a bit risky. There was a spate of petrol pump attendants getting shot in broad daylight. Being outdoors and exposed we were easy targets. I lied to my parents about working at the petrol station as I did not want them to worry - I did not want to scare them.

Now, living in California in this unsettling time, a flow of these old memories come to me daily, giving me no choice but to look back to the hopelessness, I felt for most of my teenage years. In Belfast, I lived in a grey bombed-out city, feeling bored, frustrated, devoid of any vision for a future.

I went to art college because I couldn’t think of anything else to do. I was fortunate; I learned the excitement of exploring an internal creative life, that imagination, creativity, making, design, planning was valued. I found that emotional self-reliance wasn’t about endurance, but about being positive and constructive. It was exciting to learn about modernist art and design that it was purposeful and ordered.

Visiting my relations in the countryside, I re-absorbed the beauty of the land with newly educated eyes. I began creating good in a city of bad.

I’ve spoken before, about the gentle nature of the countryside where I grew up and how that sensibility is revealed in the aesthetic of my work. Until now I haven’t talked about why serenity and tranquility in my work are so important to me: I need to focus on the good; in my heart and environment. I claim the right to make beauty, to allow inner calm, to give peace. I want to show you the strength of beauty, and order.”

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