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Mary McIntyre

If I need a person or a model to be in (a painting), I’m always available and I don’t complain”

In this Cultural Icons interview artist Mary McIntyre is interviewed by poet Riemke Ensing.

Beginning with a question from Riemke on what (or whom) has enriched her life, Mary notes the influence her grandmother had upon her, “my parents were busy…they never had time to talk to me, my grandmother did”; her Irish heritage, of which she finds “the slight wildness” inspiring; and Colin McCahon, who taught her painting and drawing at a summer school. “He was a person with an amazing, glowing inner honesty…I was most impressed by him”.

The conversation takes in Mary’s enjoyment of ambiguity – both in art and in life – and her practice, inspired by Rembrandt, of painting herself into many of her works; “If I need a person or a model to be in (a painting) I’m always available and I don’t complain”.

The interview ends with Riemke exploring the idea of discomfort and tension in some of Mary’s works – an ‘uneasy’ line of questioning which Mary decides to leave to others; “A psychiatrist or a psychologist might be able to tell me more things about myself…who knows! I don’t pretend to fully understand every last motivation within myself.”

Drawing early influence from the style and composition of Northern Italian and Renaissance art, Mary McIntyre has established herself as one of New Zealand’s foremost realist figurative painters.
Mary has work in numerous public and private collections including the collections of Te Papa Tongarewa, Waikato Museum of Art and History, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, James Wallace Arts Trust, and the National Museum of Australia.

(from Whitespace Gallery)

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