Maria Bayliss – England

Maria Bayliss believes in the ancient wisdom of creativity and its power to heal. She became aware of the importance of creativity for her wellbeing after using my own art to help recover from a protracted bout of illness. She plans to explore the links between creativity and healing in more depth, during her time at Stiwdio Maelor.

For at least 40,000 years humans have been singing, dancing, drumming, playing, painting and drawing their way through history. It’s how we live, how we express ourselves, how we worship and pray. Creativity is a vital part of our makeup as humans.

The earliest undisputed evidence we have of human artistic endeavours date from the Aurignacian period. These palaeolithic people were the forerunners of our civilisation. They created cave paintings, jewellery, and small sculptures of themselves and other animals.

Around seventy five percent of this artistic work was created by women using ochres, minerals, charcoal, semi-precious stones, bones and animal teeth. These women were deeply connected to the earth, their surroundings and their fellow creatures, which is evident in their creations. It is this deep connection to the earth, other animals and ultimately oneself that inspires Maria, and fuels a return to herself through my creativity.

As a mixed-media artist working with drawing, painting, collage and textiles, Maria’s work is very tactile, incorporating lots of different mediums and mark-making techniques to convey a physical, mental and emotional response to my environment.

In her earlier work she focussed on the urban environment, as the inner city was then her home and the hustle, bustle and excitement suited her. However, as she has developed a greater awareness of well being, she had begun a return to herself, her inner landscape and what she truly loves—nature, animals and the timeless, craggy, wild landscapes she knew as a child.

During her time at Stiwdio Maelor, Maria intends to absorb the wildness of North Wales, and explore the landscape more closely and intensely. Taking in it’s colours, textures, undulations, contrasts, wilderness and community. She will produce a sketchbook of responses, through drawings, photos, collage, found objects and stitching. These may in turn lead to some larger works on paper and textile.

Fence and landscape. Charcoal and graphite on paper