You may know Maisie Broome better by her alias Myfawnwy, a play on the Welsh name Myfanwy, which translates to “my rare one.” It’s a perfect name for the artist since she is famous for marbling, a technique which when reproduced never creates the exact same effect twice. Marbling produces patterns that look like marble by letting liquid colours swirl into one another. An artist and a designer, Maisie injects her bright marbled designs into sculpture, clothing and prints, creating work that is fun and colourful, and that you can wear and also hang on your wall too. We spoke to Maisie about her inspirations, her art world sheroes and what drew her to marbling.
What got you into making art?
As with many artists, creating art has been an intrinsic desire and drive since childhood. I grew up in a creative family where ingenuity was part of our daily life. We didn’t have much, and I was taught from a young age to make something from nothing. Art has always been my chosen form of expression and communication.
What drew you to marbling?
The process of marbling is so incredibly magical, I immediately became obsessed with it. It is mind bending, psychedelic and kaleidoscopic. It is a very freeing technique to work with because you can only exert so much control over the results, and when the print is revealed it’s a surprise that never gets old. Even after 10 years of marbling I am still finding new ways to experiment with and push this medium forward.
You make art that you can wear, when did you decide to start making art on fabric?
I grew up in a very rural town where it was hard to find special clothes that spoke to my personality, so from a young age I altered, embellished and made my own clothing. Using textiles as one of the mediums for my creative ideas has been a constant in my practice. I love taking a piece of fabric and turning it into a 3-dimensional item that fits on the body. It’s a sculptural, mathematical and fluid process that I adore.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working with my technique of marbling to create more specific imagery and text, moving away from the abstract and into a more specific story of figurative expression by exerting more control over the inks as I float them. I am working on a new body of work called “Mixed Emotions” where I am creating faces that have a multitude of feelings, from worried, to surprised, angry, sad and overjoyed. I am printing them on shirts, paper, wooden panels and large tapestries. This work explores the duality of our emotions, embracing all the fluid moods and personas we carry within us.
What are your inspirations?
I find inspiration in so many things, one constant source I drawn upon are the transportive patterns of the natural world, light on water, glittering leaves in the wind, detailed striations in ancient stone. I love looking at patterns that allow you to transform your perception, where you can adjust the scale or your experience to imagine worlds within worlds, or realms expanding out into realms. The striation of a stone in your hand can be zoomed in to become a vast galaxy. These patterns and the feelings they can give you spark imagination and I try to capture a tiny aspect of this in my work.
Who are your art sheroes?
I draw a lot of motivation from the lives and work of artists who forged their own paths and were ahead of their time, like Agnes Martin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Bourgeois and Hilma af Klint. They were brave and independent and unapologetic. I am also constantly inspired by both of my Grandmothers and my Mother who had creativity pouring out of them, from drawings paintings and collages to hand made clothing and crafts, to the way they approached life and navigated the world. My grandmothers didn’t have the opportunity to share their work outside of their small communities, but my mom is finally having some time to really explore and push her art practice forward and her work is so beautiful and unique it stuns me. Seeing her develop such an incredible art practice later in life is the most inspiring thing.
What advice would you give to young women wanting to pursue a career as an artist?
Stay focused and productive, but be kind to yourself if you have spells where you are not. If we beat ourselves up too much our creative spirit can shrink. When I am working too hard or overwhelmed by a deadline (this is quite often!!), I intentionally take a little time in my studio to just play. It may sound like procrastination, but taking that time to let go, play and be goofy helps me reconnect with my inner creative spirit and give it a boost before diving into a big project.
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
I hope to continue growing and pushing my work forward into a self-sustaining project that can support itself and allow for more ambitious ideas to manifest. As someone who often works in my studio alone, I am looking forward to finding some more opportunities for collaboration this year, to connect with others and combine our talents and skills into something magical. If this could be you, please reach out to me 🙂