Maria has travelled far afield to then settle in New Zealand as her chosen home where, as a family, they have finally settled. Marie represents so many of us Kiwis, a mixture of various cultures and journeys leading us to calling these islands our home. We find her work therefore relevant to many Kiwis. We find clients being immersed in her style, little aspects of the pieces, only to find out that they lived in a place from where that particular design aspect is from. Memories passed on from Maria to clients' walls. ARTFORM
Maria has since she can remember, been a keen maker and creator of “things”. She studied art at the Tshwane (Pretoria) University of Technology and transferred to the University of Johannesburg for the third year of her studies, majoring in graphic design (1986-1988). She has had a long and successful career as a graphic designer whilst at the same time continuing with her art practice.
In 1998 she and her husband, Jay Lloyd, established a foundry manufacturing decorative bathroom fittings (www.wuma.co.za). It was then that she moved from painting canvas and fabric to making sculptures. She has exhibited her work at various shows and exhibitions in South Africa.
In January 2010 Maria and her family immigrated to New Zealand.
There is an unmistakable African influence to her work. She says, "You cannot escape your roots." Maria is following in the footsteps of her ancestors by creating objects that can create a connection between our origins, ancestors and the land. There is a lot of skill involved in creating her artworks. She enjoys the foundry that she and Jay have established on Waiheke Island. "You have to have a lot of respect for the equipment," she says and claims to have been "bitten" a couple of times.
She reminisces about working in her late Grandfathers’ workshop. Her work encompasses a broad spectrum of skills from woodworking, carving, inlay work, mould making, fettling and the patina work. She finds the assembly of a sculpture the most exciting. After weeks of making the individual parts it finally all comes together, precisely.
Her work is mostly narrative. She is fascinated by how cultures evolved and influence each other through the language of Art. Her work often centres around immortality. The poems she writes exalt life but also serve as warnings. They give gratitude and ask for grace, common sense and courage. Inevitably her work is an emotionally charged affair, a journey of surprise. She explains that, "Only by being moved can you move someone." Her reward is when she sees someone look at her work and go still as if there is a connection.