Mary Waltham: Eco Artist

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Shown here is a selection of my work. Please contact me if you would like more information on any particular theme or piece of work: Mary [at] marywaltham.com.  Thank you for your interest.

Climate Fires

A series expressing the ecological destruction of wildfires. After a fire, ashes and bare soil are all that remain. Subsequent rainfall washes away topsoil and alters the landscape irreversibly. Integrating ashes and charred wood into Climate Fires brings the viewer closer to these events.

Climate Fires: Installation view

Climate Fires 6

Climate Fires 8

Lost Landscape 1

Lost Landscape 3

Lost Landscape 6

Lost Landscape 5

Ashes to ashes

Ashes to ashes

Small Miracles

Throughout the pandemic, I walk regularly and find wild flowers I have never noticed before. The cycle of plant seasons continues as hope in a natural form pushing grim news to one side. Each plant has healing properties relevant to our global search for COVID 19 therapeutics.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Tickweed (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

False solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosa)

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Swamp Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)

Rivers and streams

The series includes some of the endangered inhabitants of local rivers and streams, a pentatych - 5 separate canvases- inspired by distant views over a large river plus a quadtych of abstract river and stream pieces.

Mayflies

Dwarf Wedge Mussel

Shad

Snail

River (5 canvas panels)

Rivers and streams (4 canvas panels)

Pond: Mere, Rune and Flint

In addition to installation works and paintings my solo exhibition at the Gilbert White Museum, Selborne, England references the rich and delicate ecosystem that depends on each small pond, with flint as an integral part of the structure of many ancient ponds, and the severe impact of drought on biodiversity.

Dragonfly

Frog

Spangled water beetle

Lagusz: Runes for water

Flint 2

Flint 3

Flint 4

Wood Pond: June

Wood Pond: August

Wet~lands

Wet~lands is a body of work that integrates ‘landscape’ with ‘environment’ in abstract expressive paintings, and a series of drawings using mud collected at different wetland sites. The work places the viewer directly in contact with the colors and textures of wetlands.  Wetlands are positioned at the front line globally, as rising water levels change the status quo.

Wet~lands: February

Wet~lands April

Wet~lands: December

Wet~lands: August

Wet~lands: June

Sedimentation layers 11

Slow Flow 5:

Edwin B. Forsythe wildlife refuge: Brigantine

Rogers Refuge, Princeton

Collateral Damage: Fracking the fossil record

Collateral damage is based on the geology of Marcellus shale that dates from 400 million years ago (mya). Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) of this dark fragile sediment yields commercial quantities of gas that is mined extensively across Pennsylvania and beyond.  When fracking occurs the fossils are destroyed.

Fracking Marcellus shale collage

Diplacantha 400 mya

Meganeuridae sp., 320 mya wingspan to 65cm (26”)

Marcellus shale I (2017)

Marcellus shale II (2017)

Marcellus shale IV (2017)

Goniatites vanuxem, 390 mya. First found in Marcellus shale

Grammysia sp., 390 mya. Bivalve mollusc

Crinoid sp., 425 mya. Related to starfish,  crinoids had ‘stems’ of 40m (130ft)

Devonian fishes, 390 mya. The Devonian is often described as the era of fishes

Profile of the South Downs, England

My work here often uses landscape materials as art media. The intention is to convey the quiet beauty of the soft rolling structure and forms of downland landscapes that I walk in southern England.

Profile of the Downs I

Profile of the Downs II

Profile of the Downs III

Maquette: Tree bark, beech and ivy branches, and ammonite

Maquette: Tree bark, beech and ivy branches, and ammonite

Monotype in downs mud with charcoal frottage

Drawings in downs mud and chalk on 6 limestone floor samples

Installation

This eco relief mural portrays some of the multiple uses made of Princeton’s open woodland areas and recreational paths.  The installation is made entirely of found natural materials from the woods nearby.  Bark and wood, with lichen and moss encrusting them give form and texture to five active figures. The installation 'Off to the  woods' is now in the Public Art Archive.

Full installation

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