Interview of Miss Marley by Freya Bennett
Tell us a little bit about yourself Marley:
I am an artist working with a range of mediums including ink, screen printing and embroidery. I live on the edge of a sub-tropical forest in Australia with my gorgeous family, I have two children aged 13 and 10 who are amazing artists themselves. I drink a lot of tea, love to dance, play the drums and talk to my cousin on the phone for hours!
Tell us a little bit about your art:
My art often features whimsical ladies with naughty eyes, tiny feet and curious souls. They appear to be delicate creatures, but don’t be fooled! They are strong and unwavering in their journey as they delve into the shadows with courage and sass! I have a range of hand screen printed pieces including tote bags, tea towels and t-shirts which you can find in my Etsy store.
You work in embroidery a lot, where did this interest start?
I was excited by the idea of working with a traditionally female art form in a contemporary way – exploring issues of gender equality and identity. Along with the idea of ‘stitching’ an illustration. I was yearning to work with my hands in a really tactile way and the pace of embroidery was enticing. My mind can be such a busy place and the sensation of needle and thread through fabric is surprisingly very therapeutic! I love working at a slow pace, in a rhythm, the process is satisfying and I love that I am able to be social at the same time or listen to a podcast or watch a movie etc. when I draw and paint I work very differently, I need to be alone and with music. I find embroidery provides another dynamic that I need to be able to fully express myself creatively.
Your artworks are cute but powerfully feminist, tell us a bit about your designs:
On the surface a lot of my work can appear to be cute and almost child-like in ways. On closer look there are deeper meanings and connections, more complex ideas and emotions. I love how simple lines and uncomplicated technique can hold depth and symbolism. In this way my work often explores a feminist perspective with an almost whimsical and playful tone, yet it is very unapologetic in sentiment.
Why is feminism important?
Because I believe in human rights! Everyone should have equal political, economic and social rights. Feminism challenges the current patriarchal/capitalist system, it confronts racism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia. It is essential in breaking down oppression and aiming for equality.
I believe feminist parenting is also important, as a mother I encourage my children to express themselves for who they truly are and not be limited by gender stereotypes. I support them to speak up for injustice, respect and embrace diversity, care for the environment, to understand their own privilege, to question systems, the media and develop critical thinking.
Do you have a favourite piece of work you’ve done?
Not particularly, I love all my pieces really, they are like little entities from my soul, I love them all equally…I have my artwork tattooed all over my body and this is a beautiful way to ‘carry’ my art with me, in this way I always get to keep many pieces I love.
What inspires your artwork?
My personal experiences and emotions. Symbolism and story telling. I am inspired by music, I love to work to music it provides a realm where I can completely let go and just be in my work, I need that. I am inspired by the role of female characters in fairy-tales and the deeper meaning within these roles, mythology, storms, dreams, feminism, memories and the topsy-turvy experience of being human.
List five things that fascinate you.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
My family – there are quite a few artists amongst us! Also, Vali Myers, Frida Kahlo, Mab Graves and Robin Eisenberg. I have been really loving art work from artists I have discovered on Instagram including Lissa Brown, Laurie Melia and Hannah Hill.
Where can we see more of your art?
You can follow my art on Instagram @missmarley_art
To shop online visit my Etsy store. For commission inquires, tattoo designs or just to say hi email email@example.com