Artist Statement

Inside every cell of our bodies, we carry DNA that is only passed on down the female line. The Landscape of Saved Memories series is new work on paper resulting from Mary's research of human mitochondrial DNA which is inherited solely from the mother. Mitochondrial DNA enables researchers to trace maternal lineage far back in time.

The drawings are executed in ink: her brushstrokes initially seem haphazard: automatic, meandering, free flowing and drifting rather than structured. However, a certain order has been imposed on this seeming chaos. Each piece is made by layering the ink, and then leaving it in the rain, bringing it in to dry and repeating the process. Due to a dry spell in the weather, Mary was forced to experiment with other water sources; fluoride water and water from her family well in Kildare, a very lime rich water. Noting the varying results from the different waters in Cooke’s work is indicative of her practice.

Believing materials have their own narratives, Cooke's, work evolves and develops through the interaction with materials and unfold over time. Like us, they are affected by their environments, and these pieces are no different being affected by the quality of the water. As an artist, Cooke's’ works relate to memory, (genetic memory, an idea that the memories are passed on through our DNA), and female identity.


2004    MFA Visual Arts. Bennington College, Vermont. USA
BA(hons)Fine Art Sculpture. Winchester School of Art, UK

 Solo Shows

2017    'The Landscape of Saved Memories' St. Peters, Cork City.
2015    'Address to Pearl'. Stradbally Arthouse, Laois.
                  'Eriu' Public Art Commission, Doneraile Park, Cork.
2013    'To Whom it may concern'. Signal Art Centre, Bray, Wicklow.
                  'To Whom it may concern'. Aras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet, Mayo.
2012    'Threads'.  Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
'To Whom it may concern'. Camden Palace, Cork
'Threads'. Outlaw Studios , Cork
Morse code stream, Lab life time learning, Cork. Audio installation
'Flight into Fantasy'. Athy Library, Kildare
SAW (Salem Art Works) Upstate, New York. USA  Site-specific installation

 Group Shows

2017    Carnegie Summer Exhibition, Carnegie Arts Centre, Kerry
2017   '
The Different Aspects of Eve' Mill Cove Gallery, Co.Cork
2015     'HUE'. Hive emerging, Waterford
                 'ForM'. Bangor Castle Walled Garden, Down. NI

2014     'Trash Culture'. Vision Centre, Cork
                 'Blue Moon'., Dublin

2012     'Art Trail'. Elysian, Cork
2011     'Studio days' Outlaw Studios, Cork
On the threshold hold of everything, inside and out'. Tactic, Cork. 
                Clyne Gallery, Temple Bar, Dublin.

2010     'The Gallows, Art in Production', Old Ford assembly line. Cork.
2009     Outlaw Studios, Cork City. 
                'Landfill Art Project', Pennsylvania. USA. 
                'The Vagina Monologues', Cork City and hinterland. Performance

2008     Sculpture for New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.  Public art
                North Bennington Sculpture Park, Vermont. USA. 
                Generation 6 . A.I.R Gallery, Chelsea. New York City, USA. 

2007     SAW (Salem Art Works), Upstate New York. USA. 
                North Bennington Sculpture Park, Vermont, USA. 
                Green Mountain Girls Show.  Art at 196 N. Main St., Upstate New York. USA. 

2006     SAW (Salem Art Works), Upstate New York. USA.
                70 Beekman Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs. Upstate New York. USA
                North Bennington Sculpture Park, Vermont. USA. 

2004     North Bennington Sculpture Park, Vermont. USA.  Site-specific installation.
               Skokie Sculpture Park, Chicago.
Illinois. USA. 
2003     ‘Boundaries’ site-specific exhibition, Rutland Carving Studio. Vermont. USA
               Franconia Sculpture Park,


2015       Irish Composers' Collective, Silk with Maria Minguella, Terry Dineen  multi media                        installation and performance  funded by the Art Council.


Individual Artists Bursary Award 2014 awarded by Cork City Council.
Cork County Council culture night commission 2015

Other Awards

Artist-in-Studio awarded by National Sculpture Factory & Cork Arts


Cork County Council
Laois County Council 

Private collections USA, England, Ireland

about me

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