Mary J Oliver is available for Mentoring
I love mentoring one-to-one and running workshops too. I can’t tell you the pleasure I get from working with clients and students on their visual work or their writing projects. I encourage and inspire them to believe in themselves and am as thrilled as they are with the results.
All fees from my mentoring sessions and workshops are donated to the Jim Neat To Stage Project. Email Mary here for details.
Mary encouraged us to explore our memories within a safe, respectful space, whilst also sharing her own. Looking back at the workshop, I can see Mary’s skill as a teacher, writer and artist were combined with an understated precision and a lightness of touch. At the time, the room was full of vibrancy, chatter and soul-searching reflection. It takes a particular skill and a surfeit of empathy to bring strangers together, spark them into creation - whilst examining their memories - and then manage the ‘results.’ There were maybe 12-15 of us in the workshop and the stories that surfaced pinballed in all directions; some happy, some sad, most poignant. Mary’s intelligent reflection about mixing images, words and memories to develop insights and inspire creativity rests with me still.
What the workshop specifically evoked was a real sense of how extraordinary my grandfather was, and how important my memories of him, and the house I first lived in, are to me now. I am actually returning to visit Grimston in February, for the first time in fifty years. It would be a stretch to suggest this is wholly down to the workshop, but it certainly sowed seeds!
Everyone should read Jim Neat and everyone should attend one of Mary’s workshops if they get the chance!
Mary has a rare gift for empathy and understanding of an individual’s creative journey. Her genuine enthusiasm, suggestions and inspiring exercises continue to be invaluable tools for developing my visual work.
Alessandra Ausenda, artist (Cultivator Mentoring Programme) http://www.ausenda.com/alessandra-ausenda
I have greatly benefited from Mary's help. She has always gone straight to the point, and while being very fair has pointed out where I have led myself astray, and shown me a way forward.
Rob Moffitt, writer / military historian https://mastodonapp.uk/@ForgottenHero18
When my manuscript was stuck, Mary helped me see the bigger structural picture. As an artist, as well as a writer, she can inject some unconventional oomph.
Amy Spurling, writer / journalist / artist https://www.amyspurling.com/bedroom.php
Mary is a generous, creative and stimulating mentor. She has given me the confidence to share my writing and develop my skills in a safe space. She brings a wealth of experience as visual artist and writer to our sessions and I always leave excited & surprised at what I've achieved and where I'm heading next!
Lucy Sparrow, nurse / writer
Luckily I was able to attend Mary’s workshop, ‘Writing With the Mind's Eye’ in Penzance in September 2022. She brought her experience as an artist and writer – and a wide range of objects that she’d gathered from the land, seashore and her own studio to a big old table in the historic Morrab Library, where she inspired us with prompts and glimpses into her own practice. She encouraged us to write across and through the boundaries of art and genre in free yet focussed ways. Her openness and generosity inspired us all, and we felt comfortable sharing our work in progress. Mary’s intuitive, warm and professional approach brought out the best in everyone. Personally, I did something new to me - writing directly onto scraps of vegetable-dyed textiles took me to a meditative space where images emerged that had been buried for years. A burnt branch also became not only an image in my notebook but a black tool to draw with. Both right and left hands, and right and left brains were totally engaged!
Nancy Mattson, poet, http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/nancymattsonbiog.shtml
Mary brings a rich mix of innovation, intellectual challenge and nurture to the mentoring experience - and in doing so has inspired and encouraged me to break new ground and take creative risks.
Rachel Hindley, print-maker / art writer (Cultivator Mentoring Programme) https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-hindley-a6268020/?originalSubdomain=uk