Mariette Voke

Mariette Voke

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

I love to focus in on the small things, buttons, pins, lettering and imperfections, in creases, chips and cracks and 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 now in my forties have amassed a good number of dresses and jackets, mainly from the 1940’s and 50’s. I love painting clothing, 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, veridian and carmine.

The work of twentieth century painters interests me, Duncan Grant, Winifred Nicholson, Carrington, and Laura Knight, also contemporary artists Peter Blake and Andy Hazel, for their love of collecting and working with, all things quirky and nostalgic.

I stretch 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 taking, in total hours, 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 now lived in the Forest of Dean for twenty years with my potter-partner and two daughters.

My paintings sell in galleries in London, Bristol and Exeter. And locally in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

Recent exhibitions have been at Brewery Arts in Cirencester, Eyestorm Britart in Exeter, The Ludlow Exhibition of Contemporary Art and the RWA in Bristol.

Artist’s website: