Cynthia Barlow Marrs SGFA


 I have a lifelong interest in memory and thought, and the way we interpret our experiences over time.


I draw on memories of landscapes around the world to create sense impressions of space and light. My invented landscapes feature the repeated use of stylised forms such as leaves, trees and blades of grass, the one sometimes morphing into the other. 


In my sketchbooks, on the other hand, I attempt to capture unposed moments in everyday life. Drawing from observation helps to develop my working memory and my understanding of the world we live in. And as I draw I develop a richer appreciation for the stories we tell ourselves about our lives.


Whether working from observation or imagination, I am fascinated by relative scale and the way the smallest shift in perspective can determine whether something looks tiny or tremendous. 


These ideas have been important themes in my solo exhibitions. In 2007 I created a five metre-long installation "Undercurrents - Ten Views through a River of Words" for my exhbition at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. "Undercurrents" is about creative self expression, and what a story feels like when you can't find the words to tell it. 


In 2012 I developed "The Portable Forest", an installation over two walls at Ripley Arts Centre in Bromley, Kent. I imagined quiet reflection as a habitat in which certain species of thought thrive. And I imagined memories as if they were deer appearing in the forest in moments of stillness. These images derive from my time spent in Windsor Great Park, and from my experience living in Germany: I was once deep in a forest where the only sound was a cuckoo calling in the distance, and the only visible creature was the occasional surprised deer. The magic of that memory has stayed with me, and I retreat to that world from time to time.


My solo exhibition in 2020 is 'Pale Grey Castle" in which I reinvent familiar scenes in my home town of Windsor. I like to think that the imagery and ideas of my exhibitions in the past have emerged in a new form.