Mary McMillan Sloan is a graduate of both Brighton and Sussex Universities, and thus eminently over-educated. Mary has been constructing work in various media since she was a teenager growing up in southwest London.
Mary’s work features themes that range from motherhood to anatomy, nature and superstition. The media in which these works manifest themselves vary, but her main technique of choice is currently papier-mâché.
She incorporates elements of collage and painting to create her unique “creatures”, many of which have been inspired either by personal histories exchanged between friends or by off-beat and eccentric human activity. Each creature’s evolution follows a process similar to that of the development of a character with a story to tell; it demands to have its own unique brilliance fully expressed and will not budge from that insistence until fully and accurately manifested into form. This sometimes takes years. It’s not hard to somehow recognise and then fall in love with these creatures as they represent a wide range of our responses to animal and chimerical instincts.
Mary has designed and run creative workshops for Charleston Trust as part of their Young Bohemians programme, where children are encouraged to find inspiration in the artworks, literature and landscape of the iconic home of the “Bloomsbury Set” in East Sussex. Children are encouraged to take part in various creative ventures: printing, papier-mâché, costume design, theatre design and production, painting, drawing, portraits and poetry.
As well as oil paintings, sketches, three-dimensional figures and inks, Mary also works on and produces refined, impactful prints using a variety of techniques from lino-cut to pizza trays; the latter in a campaign to encourage children to experiment with cost-free materials in a bid for sustainable freedom of expression on a pocket money budget.
She also encourages an appreciation of asymmetry wherever possible.
Mary McMillan Sloan also runs bespoke papier-mâché sessions, workshops and quizzes for adults. Currently, the most popular papier-mâché theme is the creation of three-dimensional pet portraits. Class themes change seasonally.