Mary MacGregor-Reid is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her life-long interest in Western Esotericism and ontology of the otherworldly inform her work, whether through moving image installation, photography or sculpture. She creates the costumes and props for her lens-based works as well as 3D sculpting her miniature objects. Mary explores symbolic expression in her work, particularly the occulted visual language of alchemy, which she has reimagined in her figurative artwork for the past 7 years.
In 1997 Mary achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts before working in the design industry as a branding and packaging specialist. She returned to study at WhiteCliffe School of Art in 2014 to attain a Master of Fine Arts and began to build her career as an artist.
Artwork Themes & Subject Matter
Inspired by the flamboyant character of Mary MacGregor-Reid’s great grandfather, who spearheaded the Druid revival in early 20th century Britain, Mary became interested in the way people perform character for mystic purposes. Her Great Grandfather cultivated a metaphorical wardrobe of flamboyant characters he could take on and off as befitted the situation and the audience. Intrinsic to ritual practice, the assumption of character archetypes sits alongside movement, gesture and language as symbolic tools to assist the esoteric practitioner. It is this use of symbolism in both mundane life and magical tradition that especially fascinates Mary. Having first seen the artists of the late 19th Century Symbolist movement and the Italian Baroque and while studying art as a teenager, Mary’s love for their work has never wavered and continues to inform her own creations. She has a particular interest in alchemical transformation, ritual and ceremonial magic, the otherworldly and the hidden.
Mary MacGregor-Reid’s works has been featured in notable magazine, books and online sources including D-Photo Magazine Issue 98, Communicating Vessels Book, and Dominican Post.