Mary Donnelly was born in Gozo, Malta. Her career has been one of practical exploration into her much loved mediums of charcoal and oil paint. Painting and drawing have always been fundamental components of her arts practice and most importantly the underlying compositions / internal structures that hold the key to an inner dialogue between the artist, the viewer and the work itself.

Formal education did not begin until 1994 with art studies at the Orange Campus of TAFE NSW Western Institute, continuing on with full time studies for a Bachelor of Fine Arts at UWS, Kingswood Campus in the year 2003. In 2006 full time studies for a Master of Art (Honours) Degree also at UWS were undertaken. The premise underlying my Masters was the investigation of time on a two dimensional surface. This investigation was a practice-based approach to Fine Art, continuing to focus on the medium of painting. My research questioned, through a program of creative work, whether a moment in time could be represented on a two dimensional art work; or if we only experience the sensation of time passing, as we are viewing it. The key issue within the creative practice-based approach, was to examine if empty visible space within an artwork ‘ignites’ a sense of time; if a visualisation of empty space could capture an event, an awareness of the immediacy of a moment experienced in the studio.

Artist Statement
My work continues to draw attention to the everyday, incidental and often poignant moments that we often miss or overlook in our hectic day to day lives. The subject matter continues primarily to focus on still life compositions that convey ‘a sense of place’ in quiet, unassuming ways. Drawing it is said to be the explanation of form by line; or line exploring space. I have always felt that this expression of visual language reflects the phases of development in a work, the marks and thought process of what is seen and acted upon through the exploration of line. When a work is finished it then becomes the embodiment of the artist’s point of view and inner feeling. The structure and form of what was once considered, through erasure and reworking become trace elements of the work’s past. Shadowy forms held suspended between countless layers of charcoal and coloured pigment.

Education
2008 Master of Arts (Honours), University of Western Sydney
2005 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), University of Western Sydney
2002 Advanced Diploma of Fine Art, Western Institute of TAFE, Orange, NSW
2001 Diploma Fine Art, Western Institute of TAFE, Orange Campus NSW
2000 Certificate IV in Fine Art, Western Institute of TAFE, Orange Campus NSW
1999 Statement in Creative Fine Arts – with Distinction, Orange Western Institute of TAFE, NSW
1997 Statement of Attainment in Creative Fine Art- Western Institute of TAFE, Orange, NSW
1997 Charles Sturt Uni. Bathurst Campus, Associate Student (Arts) NSW
1994 Certificate in Fine Art, Orange TAFE NSW

Selected Exhibitions
2014 Calleen Art Award and Central West Regional Art Award
2013 100km Art Show – Orange Regional Gallery
2013 ‘Art Alfresco’ – Orange Regional Gallery
2012 Kedumba Drawing Award
2010 JADA – Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award – Grafton Regional Gallery and Touring Exhibition
2010 Bathurst Portrait Prize – Bathurst Regional Gallery
2010 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing – PLC Croydon
2009 Calleen Art Award / Central West Regional Artists Award – Cowra Regional Art Gallery
2009 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing – PLC Croydon
2008 Artarmon Galleries – Joint Exhibition (Giles Auty)
2008 ‘….. in seeking centric vectors” – Breewood Galleries Richmond – solo exhibition
2008 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing – PLC Croydon
2007 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing – PLC Croydon
2005 ‘nothing’ – Artspace Sydney
2005 Willoughby City Art Prize. Sydney
2005 Artarmon Galleries ’50 years with Artarmon Galleries’
2005 The Walkom Manning Art Prize, Taree
2005 Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Highly Commended Print Award
2004 Commission for Mural – Office of Regional Development UWS – Campbelltown Campus
2002 Semi-Finalist “Senses” : TAFE NSW Arts & Design Prize – Seymour Theatre Centre
2001 ‘Journey’ – solo exhibition
2001 Semi-Finalist TAFE NSW Arts and Design Prize – ‘ Revealed’ Semi Finalist Exhibition
2000 Semi-Finalist TAFE NSW Arts and Design Prize “Realities, We don’t see things as they are,We see things as we are”
1999 Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Regional Art Gallery, NSW-
1999 ‘Still Life Conversations’, Highland Heritage Estate, Orange – joint exhibition

Awards
2005 Member of Golden Key International Honour Society
2004 Dean’s Merit List, College of Arts, Education, and Social Sciences UWS
2002 Outstanding Graduating Student – TAFE Western Division
2002 Excellence Award – First Place Advance Diploma in Fine Arts – TAFE Western Division
2002 Greg Turner Scholarship (jointly awarded) Orange Regional Gallery, Orange NSW
2001 Excellence Award – First Place Diploma of Fine Art – TAFE Orange & Outstanding Student Nominee

Commissions
2007 Commission Kinross Wolaroi School – commemorative work for Founding Rowers
2006 Commission Kinross Wolaroi School “Celebration of Rowing Western NSW”
2004 Commission University of Western Sydney – Office of Regional Development Mural