Since graduating from her MA in Fine Art Mary Jane Opie’s practice is deeply rooted in art history combined with a discerning interest with the relationship between humans and animals. Her previous twenty years of endlessly accumulating 35mm slides provided the core ground for her practice to evolve.
In the ‘Old Master’ series she uses original artworks to comment on family life and through the use of Photoshop, creates visual imagery that lulls the viewer into a false sense of security. By presenting an aura saturated in traditions of the classics, religious icons and museums, the use of absurd symbolism allows her to surreptitiously test the balance between cruelty and humour, fear and fascination, brutality and kindness.
By enhancing colours, delusive environments are created whilst human figures are depicted as remakes of a more generic form. The mundane everydayness of contemporary life is repackaged and sold back to the viewer as being extra-ordinary, symbolic and worthy of ‘high art’ representation.
Her paintings are suggestive forms of subversion as opposed to rebellion. The entire body of work jars on the nerves of high art aesthetics’ where the lifestyle of the common man is playfully elevated to that of rare privileged delight.
1981-1982 Chelsea School of Art
1982-1985 Middlesex University BA(Hons) Fine Art
2003–2005 Sir John Cass School of Art. MA Fine Art
2010 New Orleans Gallery, London. (‘Making it/Faking it’)
2010 Oblong Gallery, London. (Shoebox Award)
2010 Barbican Art Group open selected exhibition.
2010 Arc Gallery. London. (‘A Moving Exhibition’)
2009 Oblong Gallery, London. (‘Delusions of Grandeur’).
2009 Mushroom Works, Newcastle upon Tyne. (‘Let Them Eat Cake’).
2009 Oblong Gallery, London. (‘Hanging On’).
2000 Cresent Art Gallery, Scarborough.
2000 Scarborough Art Gallery.
1999 Stroud House Gallery.
1996 The Whitechapel Open ’96
1991 The Times Young Artists – selected by Andrew Renton.
1999 Winning Design, Selected for the South Bank Banners, London.
1997 Winning Design, Selected for the South Bank Banners, London.
1996-7 Coventry Canal Seating Commission.
1988 Woodland Trust ‘Seats for Woods’ commission.
1987 Alexandra Palace, Palm Court redevelopment.
1994 Coopers and Lybrand Gallery London.
1991 The Observer- named as one of London’s most promising young
Artists. Olympia International Art Fair Review.
1988 Homes and Gardens. Commission piece review.
1988 Design Week. Commission piece review.
1985 The Observer Magazine. Young Graduate Artists review piece.
‘Sculpture’ – A history of international sculpture through the ages. Eye Witness series – Published by Dorling and Kindersley.