Marnie Pitts was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1970. She graduated in Art and Design from the Box Hill College of TAFE, Melbourne, then she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Philip Institute of Technology of Melbourne, and a degree in Computer Aided Art and Design. Marnie’s work revolves around the interaction between human beings and the natural environment, and the negative effects related to our ability to manipulate the planet. Her creative process usually begins with a research focused on whatever subject had previously attracted her attention, then she starts the painting by roughly blocking in the tone, and she continues by glazing the colour layers and tightening up the details. She often compares painting to meditation, indeed she prefers oil painting to any other technique because it allows her to take her time and “breathe”. Marnie has exhibited in Australia, Europe and USA. She has also worked on a number of computer games, TV series and movies, including Harry Potter and Batman Begins, and she has collaborated with London VFX Studios, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, MPC and Framestore. Marnie currently lives In London, where she moved after art school to pursue a career in Visual Effects.
Painting is a need that I must satisfy to remain happy, and it represents the way I process my perception of the world. I really enjoy educating myself and distilling the objects of my research into images conceived to trigger a wide range of emotional reactions. My work also incorporates an element of communication related to my desire to share certain ideas with the general public.
I have exhibited with artists who might be called surrealists, visionaries, pop surrealists or fantastic realists, but I’m not sure about how to categorize my work: I definitely consider it to be of a symbolic or allegorical nature; what I can certainly say about it is that it’s getting bigger, both physically and conceptually, and more focused on storytelling. Talking about the craft related aspects of my work, I’ve been studying and using the “mische technique” for years, and I would like to revisit this old master technique mixing egg tempera and oil painting from time to time. Lately I’ve also been experimenting with several other oil painting techniques.
There are many recurring threads running throughout my work. Sometime ago I made a series about attachments focused on our connection to both natural and artificial environments as well as to the places, objects, memories, ideals and people that we hold dear. I used devices such as veins, cords, threads, roots, wires, receptacles and enlarged hearts to illustrate these attachments. Another series was called “While we sleep”, and it was about what happens around us when we close our eyes and stop paying attention to the environment. My current series, in progress, is going to be pivoted on our almost compulsive need to create buildings and cities, and how this particular creative urge can turn into destruction and reckless management of the environment. I believe that we all contribute to creating our own realities with our words, beliefs and actions, however the result of our interactions with the world can be either positive or merely destructive.