Mary Maka's "Endless Forest" was inspired by the Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola. In Amos' stories, characters often wander through a forest inhabited by spirits and half-living creatures.
Mary Maka's art has always been closely intertwined with her love of nature and mythology. The artist explores the mythology of different countries and the ancestors' relationship to the forest. The idea involves creating creatures, each representing a unique fear. She gave each one a name and a character and portrayed her world of fears, turning them into bright and friendly creatures. Hunters gave names to the phenomena and creatures that were most frightening. By giving them a name and endowing them with human qualities, the fear became less intense. Spirits that had names could now be allies and help in hunting and gathering. Through her art, Mary sought to bridge the gap between primitive fear and the modern world, which often ignored them. With her images she invites viewers to confront their own fears, where they no longer have power, but instead an interest in exploration and self-discovery.
The artist works with digital art and uses grainy textures in her work. Textures are used to create a special atmosphere and to add volume, making the illustrations more chamber-like.
Last year, Mary began experimenting with ceramic sculptures to create a limited edition of handmade figurines. The "Endless Forest" series was exhibited at the 2023 Spring Art Fair and Mars Pop Art in Wuhan, China, the Art Walk Exhibition in Guilin, China 2023, as well as at various design festivals.
Interview on Collosal
Digital illustration, 2022