Maria van der Maar is a self-taught visual artist. She grew up and still lives in the Gantrisch region of Switzerland, an area of outstanding natural beauty in the canton of Bern. Nature is the omnipresent reference point of her artistic output, with humanity being represented as an integral part. She finds inspiration in nature – it is here that she seeks answers to questions that preoccupy her and with which she also grappled during the time she spent studying for a degree in Social Work.
Her art revolves around the possibilities and limits of human development, shining a spotlight on its wonders and abysses. In her works, she contrasts the processes of social destruction arising from addiction, ignorance, discrimination, loneliness and suicidal feelings with nature’s inexhaustible efforts to heal, grow and thrive. She thereby renders the ambivalences, contradictions and dilemmas of our existence visible. Her paintings depict idyllic landscapes of the soul that take on a life of their own and thus open up new spaces; they play with architectural archetypes of protective dwellings in harsh surroundings and go beyond the superficial to consider humanity from a new perspective in all our vulnerability and resilience.
Abstract, expressionist, naturalist and surrealist influences shape her works, and not infrequently, chance is also incorporated as a stylistic element. Composition, color selection, structures and contrasts are sometimes minimalist, sometimes rich in detail. She also finds her artistic expression in graphic, photographic and cinematic works. Her paintings often transform viewing into a sensual-aesthetic experience.