My Favourite artists
This has only been a glimpse into
the world of Marilyn Pride's art.
Pride's online gallery
The Red World
an introduction and interview
closer you look into
Marilyn Pride's art, the more you'll find in it, which is
true of nature and anything worthy of being called by that abused term:
Detail of framed
Pride uses her myopia as the
gift that it is, and she links her imagination with her natural
history knowledge and her experience as a keen gardener and
animal carer, to record on paper and stone, the aweful in the
classical sense of the word. She works in many styles and
media, and is most happy when she isn't restricted to her
ever-popular "dragons and pretty things". Although she and
her partner, Lewis P Morley (see
"My Favourite Artists: Part 2 - Lewis P Morley" ) have quite a
reputation in the movie world as model-makers, I stumbled upon
Marilyn Pride's pictures and stones first.
(above) is one example of the direction her work is going in
now, but what you can see in the virtual world doesn't
show it all.
For that, you really need to be a
Yes, you need to covet selfishly to have for your own
(which has to be a sin, as it's
too pleasurable not to be),
and then get up close and personal to see:
the details (where there's life and humour where you least
expect it); the paper, which she's fanatic about, too; and
because she is a perfectionist, she is the only artist in
the world whose work is framed (she does it herself) in
simulated sauropod ivory, in the classical carved sauropod ivory
favourite works are her studies done in the manner of those in
Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo,
several studies to a page, often of disparates.
"Studies of Life in
the Somarah Greenhouse" (which is
mine!) is painted in watercolour and gouache on
Arches 300 Paper (foxed). At first glance, it is a
of 8 specimens, but the closer you look . . . And the most
marvelous thing about this is that one of the subjects on the
page is a spot-on portrait of an Australian forest resident that
revels in disguise — a typically un-noticed wonder that I have
photographed, and knew as I photographed, that a photo doesn't
give it justice. The quality of its mystery doesn't escape
her eye, nor her sense of humour, nor the essential
that it has in the context of these studies: these are
observations of life in the Red World.
interview with Marilyn Pride
(The following picture of
Marilyn's studio is a 3D anglyph which can be viewed using
standard red/blue 3D glasses)
Photo © Lewis Morley
partner Lewis Morley have worked as model-makers for many films
including RAZORBACK, DARK CITY, MATRIX 2&3 and SUPERMAN
Can you tell us about any nightmares you've had in this work,
asleep or awake?
of the films I've worked on have been fantasy, SF or horror, but
I've always lived a good part of my life in the fantasy section
of my own mind (a multi-layered dimension called the
World). Consequently, the films I worked
on and their content have generally inspired rather than
The exception to this was SUPERMAN RETURNS. We
worked for months on one prop: Lex Luthor's giant trainset
layout (Lewis as foreman and me as the miniature greensperson).
It was so large and complex, it took up all my waking thoughts
and began to invade my remembered dreams too! These dreams were
pleasant enough. I was living in the giant model landscape
or it was part of my house and garden. Eventually, my
dreams began to trouble me, simply because they were so
overwhelming they blanked out everything else.
Perhaps this was because this richly detailed
and seemingly realistic land paralleled my personal fantasy world.
Both have many distinct regions which are accessed by crawling
through pop-up holes (or inter-dimensional gateways in the case
of my own Red World). There was also a poignant quality
overshadowing our work, because we knew from the start, despite
the fact that the quality had to be top-notch, that it was all
going to be deliberately destroyed by the end
of the scene,
would only last a few minutes in the final film.
As soon as the destruction had taken place, the obsessive
dreams faded away and I returned happily to my own inner world.
What empassions you these
As always: animals, plants, colour, scent, texture and minute detail.
However, our carefully built house and garden has become a
reality -much closer to my
Red World than
I could have dreamed possible! Naturally there are no
intelligent dinosaurs, giant sloths or rustic cities nearby,
but our dog, chickens and ferret, together with our built
environment is a pleasant alternative. This does drain a
little of the allure of a fantasy that was constructed to
counter the dull Real-World and its unpleasant realities,
but I'm now starting to question whether you really need to
be miserable where you are in order to be creative.
You frequently mix the
"Natural" and "fantastic" worlds in such a way that it is
impossible for someone who doesn't share your vision, to
fully appreciate the depth of your world. What is your
relationship to reality?
My fantasy world is an extension of the Natural, Prehistoric
and Medieval worlds. I've been fascinated by the
European Stone Age for decades. This has inspired the stone
walls, earth roof and woven wicker fences that I have now
surrounded myself with.
A recent direction in my painting has been
inspired by 17th, 18th and 19th Century scientific and
botanical illustration, complete with foxed and yellowed
I started thinking about what these artists would
have produced if they had travelled through the Red World.
What images would they have recorded with the watercolours
they carried in their satchels? These thoughts inspired the
artworks I exhibited at Conflux 2006.
What work are you doing these days?
I have five commissioned paintings in my Antique-botanical
style waiting to slide into existence. There's a Red World
story in comic/graphic novel format waiting to be started
and as always, sundry wicker fence mending, mud brick repair
and bushwalking trips to complete!
There are also some other Red World Komics in
the works including a guide to Isshutar and a collaboration
story with Louise Graber.
Sinners who covet should
at aol dot com