"I  live in the real world.

My art doesn't."

Marie Larkin is an Australian Pop Surrealist. Her art embodies an undeniably feminine oeuvre, meticulous execution and attention to detail.  Her richly coloured, painted and drawn alternate worlds, are inhabited by her signature women who imbue the works with narrative and emotional content. Women of strength and character, whose undeniable feminine force, has become the artist’s trademark. Early works in painting, drawing and sculpture were inspired by fairytale and nursery rhyme narratives, pop culture and notions of beauty. Gradually over 10 years, the women and their narratives have become more meaningful. Larkin has come to use the females as more complex metaphors to express ideas about The Feminine. Her later work often attempts to show that elements of a goddess archetype are present in the everyday feminine and she seeks to help women find this within themselves. Through her, the artist articulates notions of woman as creator, protector, and nurturer.

I want my artwork to remind women that they are powerful beings. To empower them. But I don’t specifically speak to inequality. Rather, I just keep painting over and over how I see the nature of the Feminine, trying to distill that essence into visual forms. Women are complex creatures often at odds within themselves as they struggle to find their balance against the pressures of society’s often contradictory expectations. I have experienced that struggle and I witness it in the younger women close to me as they negotiate their complicated lives. But my depictions of the feminine are consciously positive. I want to keep thrusting forward a powerful stereotype, capable of knowing her mind without being undermined.

My women might be aloof, sad, angry, willful, sensual or sassy, but they are never weak, and they are never defeated. They are sometimes full of darkness and sometimes filled with light. They strike fear and bring hope. They can be cruel and they can be sweet. They are the ingenue and the cynic. They are the destroyers and the nurturers. They are adventurers who look forward. They face the world head on, and kick it’s proverbial arse. They have innocence but tell a story of fierceness and wisdom. They are the devil and the goddess. I reveal their bodies but only to proclaim the character’s femaleness. My women regard and engage you with their direct gaze as if to say, “See me. I am woman.”

— Marie Larkin

Marie Larkin has a Bachelor of Art Education and has been a visual artist and art teacher since 1980. She gained national recognition and success in the 1990’s as an embroiderer.

“Although incredibly time consuming, embroidery gave Larkin a manageable outlet through which she was able to maintain a semblance of creativity while caring for three young children. It also awarded her esteemed recognition in the art world. Not only did her incredibly intricate handiwork appear in several exhibitions that toured across Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales (where she currently resides), but it earned her a place in Norris Ioannou’s survey of decorative arts, Masters of their Craft. Years have passed, and Larkin no longer embroiders.

Once her familial demands began to lessen, she decided to exchange her needle for a paintbrush. While there’s no denying that artists such as Nicoletta Cecccoli and Mark Ryden inform Larkin’s highly stylized, pop surrealist aesthetic, the impressive body of work that she’s produced in just five years time aptly expresses the complexity of emotions with which women often grapple... her subjects convey notions of innocence and whimsy as well as disappointment and desire...and( the) steely strength that often goes unnoticed in women who can instead come across soft and sensitive.”

— Anise Mouette Stevens 2014

MFA University of Southern California /  2000 / Professional Writing BA Loyola Marymount University /  1998 / English Literature

Marie began exhibiting her painting and drawing in 2010 and has shown in exhibitions and galleries in Australia, The United States and Europe.  Her work can be found in private and public collections in The United States, Europe and Australia.