Mary Knott is an artist who works in both two and three dimensions, making sculptures and mixed media drawings that have a pensive introspective character. Boats have been prominent in her repertoire of subjects and she has found them a rich source of sculptural inspiration. A chance meeting with Jean-Jacques Kurandy, a French bronze caster, has resulted in the production of innovative sculptures originally made from paper and cane or twigs but finally cast in bronze and finely patinated.
More recently figures have become quite central to her sculptural practice and these tend to be contemplative and quite balanced in their posture whereas the figure is absent from her depictions of streetscapes and their absence lends an air of mystery to these compositions. Water is nearly always featured in her drawings where lonely vessels drift and these may be interpreted as a personal haven or metaphor for the travel which has been a source of inspiration to the artist.
Photography is important in the early stages of her work but it is just a starting point and the work is never atrue rendition of the place. Using a muted palette the images become more enigmatic and leave a haunting impression on the viewer. This palette is achieved with the use of a bituminous paint over gesso and the application of pastel and fixative something the artist discovered in her early days working in an artist run space in Northbridge.
Now working from a studio at home in Quindalup in the south west of Western Australia, she initially majored in Sculpture at the Claremont School of Art in 1985.