Mary Shemza was born and educated in Stafford. She undertook her art training in both Stafford and London, where she became a full time art teacher in secondary education. She began teaching for two years in London followed by 28 years as head of department at Alleynes then King Edwards schools in the Midlands. She was a part-time lecturer at Stafford college between 1989 and 2007 after which she moved to Eastbourne. From 1989 onwards she concentrated on her painting, sculpture and calligraphy. Calligraphic commissions include works for BBC television, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire University, Lichfield Diocese and Fikrun wa Fann. For 20 years she worked as a calligrapher for the George Street Press and her published work includes a weekly column on Art and Design for Kipling’s newspaper, The Civil Military Gazette and an article in Third Text 8/9.
1961, Karachi, Arts Council of Pakistan
1961, Lahore, Arts Council of Pakistan
1962, Rawalpindi, Society of Contemporary Arts Gallery
1966, Oxford, Overy Mill Gallery
1985, Islamabad, Rhotas Gallery, Pakistan
1987, Canberra, Theatre Gallery, Australia
1991, Stafford, High House
1992, Keele, University Gallery
1992, Stafford, ArtGallery
1992, Alsager, ManchesterMetropolitan University
1992, Stafford, High House
1993, Stafford, High House
1995, Eccleshall, Library Gallery
1995, Birmingham, Botanical Gardens Gallery
The purpose of my work is communication through a synopsis of the basic visual elements: line, colour, tone & texture with an emphasis on the calligraphic resonance of line.
Sources: calligraphy and the natural environment
Media: any that suits my purpose
Aim: to leave a lasting aesthetic response after the first encounter.
1995, Birmingham, University of Birmingham, Winterbourne Gallery
1997, Shrewsbury, Gateway Education and Arts Centre Gallery
1997, Eccleshall, Library Gallery
1998, Ilkley, Manor House
1999, Chigwell, Public School, Gallery and Sculpture Court
2001, Belfort, CulturalCentre, France
2003, Stafford, Culturegen Glasshouses Gatehouse Theatre
2004, Tamworth, Art Projects Lovells Partnership
2005, Stafford, Culturegen County Showground
2006, Lahore, National College of Arts
2006, Rawalpindi, National College of Arts
2012, Alfriston, The Coach House Gallery
2018, Eastbourne, The Birley Centre
Each December 1994-2011
Eastbourne Artist Open Houses 2010-2018
Exhibitions in Stafford, Lichfield, Burton, Stoke-on Trent, Shrewsbury, Ellsmere, Keele, Manchester, London, and Milan International Drawing Biennials
1970 and 1972, Rijeka Yugoslavia.
1973, Teeside England.
1974, New York USA
Represented in National Collections in Pakistan and personal collections in America, Australia, Britain, Denmark, France, Hungary Kenya and Pakistan.
John Street, Ashbourne.