Mari Hirata is a visual artist, designer & metalsmith based in Brisbane. Since completing her MAVA at Queensland College of Art in 2002, Mari has exhibited in venues throughout Australia and overseas. Her practice over the years has revolved around photography, sculpture, installation, and silversmithing, and her works are housed in collections including the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), HOTA (Gold Coast), and UTS (Sydney).
In 2011 Mari was awarded the JUMP National Mentoring Program through the Australia Council and Arts Queensland, and since 2014 has received ongoing mentorship under renowned Gold & Silversmith Sel Pilgrim, which has seen her progress onto developing a distinct style that responds to her surroundings and relational concepts, while reflecting the aesthetics and sensibilities of her Japanese cultural heritage.
Mari was selected as Artist In Residence at Bundanon Trust in 2018, and received a Regional Arts Development Fund Grant to support her residency. In 2019 she was a selected artist in Elements, an outdoor sculpture exhibition as part of Horizon Art Festival, and was a finalist in Contemporary Wearables ’19 at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery. Mari also had her wearable sculptures featured in State of Shine, an exhibition representing QLD in Radiant Pavilion: Melbourne Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial. This year in April, Mari will be one of 33 finalists selected to exhibit at the ninth Sculpture at Scenic World outdoor exhibition at the Blue Mountains, NSW.
2020 SWELL ARTWORK – Sentinels, Mari Hirata
Sentinels contemplate the seemingly disparate systems of our urban landscape and the ever-contracting natural environment, allowing for a re-examination of our relationships to nature and perhaps suggest a new kind of hybrid nature in this increasingly industrialised, disposable world. Working predominantly with recycled industrial materials, the installation plays with the idea of juxtaposition by taking an artificial, manufactured ‘body part’ and reconsiders the notions of our health and lifestyle by reinserting it into the natural landscape of Currumbin Beach.
SWELL Kids Artist Statement – Sentinels, Mari Hirata
When I was making my sculpture Sentinels, I was thinking about the idea of ‘opposites’ – natural / artificial, indoor / outdoor, city / country, clean / pollution. I wanted to make something organic(natural) looking out of a man-made material. These sculptures make me think of a chrysalis, maybe from out of space. I wonder what kind of creatures lie inside them? What do they remind you of?
Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 11-20 September.