Marie Mitchell is a contemporary mixed media artist living in Western Australia’s Peel Region. Creative expression is vital to sustaining her spirit manifesting in many forms over her career. Mitchell is always drawn back to fibre and textile as a medium for expressing her ideas. Employing a large variety of surface techniques, fabrics and stitch, Mitchell creates powerful, allegorical imagery, illustrating complex ideas in ways that are tangible to the viewer.
Specialising in textile & design at university and art college; Mitchell shared these skills with students over a three-decade teaching career. She left teaching in 2017 to focus full-time on creating art. Sustainability is a cornerstone of Mitchell’s art practice; she uses many upcycled fabrics altering them with surface design techniques and free motion embroidery. Her work often contains elements that extend beyond the frame or uneven edges that create shadow play, representing the delicate and ephemeral qualities found in nature.
Mitchell’s art practice combines a lifelong passion for nature with a love of the tactile and textural nature of fabric. A native of the temperate rainforest of Western Canada, awareness of the fragility of the environment is integral to her world view. In the over 20 years since relocating to Australia, she has embraced her adopted country, becoming an advocate for the conservation of its unique biodiversity. The beauty of its native flora and fauna provides her with endless inspiration.
Mitchell’s work is significantly influenced by current global events and national issues, including climate change, threats to the Australian environment and the current refugee crisis. Her creative practice is driven by a deep social conscience and sense of personal responsibility. She believes the average person is keen to do their best to care for the planet, but is overwhelmed with negative news, conflicting viewpoints and feels powerless to influence our governments to act.
Convinced everyone can do something to effect change—Mitchell’s something is raising awareness of what is being done and how people can get involved. She believes art can touch people in ways scientific data cannot. Her work is intended to generate awareness and appreciation for the natural world while exploring its fragility and our role as caretakers for future generations. She wants her work to inspire the viewer to think alternatively, speak out and join others in collective action to foster change.
Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are held in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and United States. She supports conservation advocacy by donating a portion from the sale of her work to national non-profit environmental organisations.