Mary White


Fredericton artist Mary White returned to painting as a result of a workshop with Molly Lamb Bobak and Brigid Toole Grant at Sunbury Shores Art & Nature Centre in St. Andrews, in the summer of 1980. She continued her art studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, at Concordia University in Montreal, and in the clay studio at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.

In 1987 she received a Canada Council Exploration Grant to mount her first solo exhibition, as well as a grant from the Cultural Development Branch that enabled her to work and study at St. Michael's Print Shop in St. John's, Nfld. In 1993, she received a Creation Grant from the Arts Branch, and in 1994 a Travel Grant. Most recently she received a grant from ArtsNB for the exhibition "Thinking is Form" exhibited at the University of New Brunswick's Arts Centre, March 2017.

Her watercolours have been seen in solo and group exhibitions, including showings at the UNB Art Centre, le Centre Communautaire Ste. Anne, The Beaverbrook Art Gallery as part of the Marion McCain Juried Exhibition, and are included in the collections of the Provincial Art Bank and the University of New Brunswick. Mary White works in several media including prints, watercolour, oil and is a very well known potter. She maintains a studio in Fredericton.



For most of us the reality of violence is a flat screen experience. We are insulated from the shell-shocked child or the images of the aftermath of a murder by the absence of direct experience. Most of us won’t see what the wounds caused by guns look like or how the missile does its damage, or the corpse of a dead soldier. We move on….an unending march of images of man’s inhumanity to man. We become inured.

In this era we can investigate space and time, see all peoples, languages, philosophies and the incredible variety of life in the three realms like no other time in recorded history and yet we still live in the animal realm, with its quarters of society of dark spectacle.

These works developed along two different streams:exploded gunpowder providing the basis for an exploration of time, and the use of bullets et al for a trip into now.

Contemplating the gulf between screen and heart, I put my finger in the entry wounds caused by a variety of objects that take away life, and what this might look like through an exploration washed in an expanse of the energy of colour.

With the weapons, the idea for the drawings came first. Finished they became targets,the RCMP targets came preloaded-real.

Three marksmen used a variety of weapons. The wounds finish the image. They are selfish, self important and needed to prompt reflection on the absurd horror of the damage done to ideas... to civilizations.

The works with gunpowder evolved in a different manner as the explosive expressions first laid out as constellations. The exploded patterns determining the start of an exploration developed through contemplation, collage and peripatetic wandering of impulse based on interest in the night sky, and histories of mythologies.

The destroyer is time. Everything changes.

With grateful acknowledgment to ArtsNB for the Creation Grant that enabled this project. With gratitude to my marksman: Chris Kretschmar and Laurie Lees of the RCMP Fredericton.

Mary White, 2017