Mariette Voke

Mariette Voke

I am a hoarder with a compulsion to record and catalogue life. My paintings and drawings explore memories and recollection through clothing and everyday objects; favourite china, shoes, old photographs and letters.

I love to focus in on the small things, buttons, pins, lettering, and imperfections, in creases, chips and cracks.I love to focus in on the small things, buttons, pins, lettering, and imperfections, in creases, chips and cracks.

I have a passion for the texture and language of fabrics, taffeta, silk and velvet, pleats, plackets and ruffles.

I began collecting vintage clothes from jumble sales as an eccentric teenager, and have amassed a good number of dresses and jackets, mainly from the 1940’s and 50’s.

I love painting these, linking each garment with objects, to tell stories about where a dress came from or what happened on the day it was worn. I feel the poignancy of a dress on a hanger can be as evocative as a photograph. Through the way things wear, a frayed collar, pulled thread or lost button, feelings and moments in time can be recalled.

My move to painting from a twenty year career in large scale garden ceramics, was originally led by a love of colours and evocative names on paint tubes; alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, viridian and carmine.

Stretching my own canvases in a traditional way using raw linen, fixed with tacks and sized with rabbit skin glue; I often work on two or three canvases at a time. Each picture can take from a week, to more than a month to complete. Every working day is spent in my studio shed where I often return to paint at night as exhibition deadlines approach.

Originally from Bristol, I have lived in the Forest of Dean for twenty years with my potter-partner and two daughters.