A few weeks back, we had the pleasure to visit artist Mary Little and her husband, Peter, in their LA live/work studio space. Their hospitality was top notch as we were welcomed in with hot tea and fresh baked cookies. It was the perfect remedy to forget about the cold rain that fell outside.
We wasted no time getting down to business. Mary walked us through her portfolio and explained how she got started. Mary Little was born in Northern Ireland and studied Applied Arts in London. Her career began as a furniture designer where her works were displayed in various museums around the world.
Mary and Peter moved to DTLA a few years ago and found an artist colony studio that fit perfectly with their lifestyle. One downside to the studio was that it was a completely open space. Wanting to create some privacy for their bedroom Mary started experimenting with canvas to create a dividing screen. After having their friends over for dinner and hearing all of the positive feedback about the screen Mary wanted to take her new found techniques one step forward.
Mary's mother knitted cable knit sweaters, which have inspired her three dimensional pieces of art. She creates patterns on the computer, prints them, cuts them out of canvas and sews them together to create dynamic pieces of art. While there Mary explained that sometimes she will work on a piece for a week before deciding that it doesn't really work, at that point she discards the work and starts over. She doesn't find it disheartening that the piece didn't work out, but thinks of it as a lesson learned. She told us it's good to have rejects, and to train yourself to edit.
As you see in the photos above, Mary's typical way of presenting her pieces are hanging loose on a vertical surface. Although 60"x 60" is her preferred size to work with, she does make some variations. Mary has also created numbered edition pieces which are on stretchers like below. These stretched pieces typically show a single pattern sewn together.
If you are interested in seeing more of Mary's art stop by Hammer and Spear in the Arts District where we first spotted her work. Starting May 28th you can also visit the Craft and Folk Art Museum to see Mary's latest pieces.
All of the photos are courtesy of Mary Little Studio, you can visit the website at marylittle.com