"Occasionally, there are moments in life when everything becomes intensified; speaking, breathing, working. Thinking becomes direct and vision is clarified. Differences between the inner and the outer disappear. Dualities are embraced without conflict. A kind of truth emerges that is strong and clear, simple and deep. These are moments of grace, a blessing received and carried onwards."
Mary Modeen, 1993
Mary Modeen (born 1953 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA) is of Scandinavian and Native American ancestry, and she has lived and taught in many states until moving to Scotland in 1989. Modeen is an artist/printmaker who also works in artist books, installations, and recently in video and sound. She is also an academic of nearly 30 years full-time experience in higher education, residing in Scotland where she convenes the Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee.
She is interested in the nexus of traditional and visual culture, and contemporary art, as well as in Aotearoa/New Zealand and other island cultures. In 2007, she was a Senior Research Fellow and artist-in-residence in New Zealand at the University of Otago, Dunedin, working with Maori Studies scholars. In conjunction with this, an exhibition of prints and videos entitled Tangata Whenua (translated as either ‘local people’ or ’people of the land’) was held.
Modeen’s research has several threads: perception as a cognitive and interpretative process, and place-based research, which tends to connect cultural values, history and embodied experience. Her artwork has been exhibited widely across the world. Two recent books are This Place Called Home and Remembered Places.