In 1996 Mairi spent two years in South East Asia, Nepal, Tibet, England and North Africa with her family. She returned to live, work and travel in England, Ireland, Scotland and Spain from 1999 to 2000. On her return to Australia she studied Art, Craft and Design at TAFE Tasmania. In 2005 Mairi enrolled in a Bachelor of Contemporary Art at the University of Tasmania, which she completed in 2008 with first class honours.
Painting is the core of her practice. However in 2009, Mairi began to explore design as a result of a project that formed part of her Masters of Fine Arts research. The project, called ‘Object to Object’, was an exploration of the relationships between art and design and between art and life. She created digital surface designs using imagery taken directly from her paintings. These designs have been printed onto a range of surfaces including fabric, paper and ceramic decals. Mairi also makes slip cast Cool Ice porcelain ceramic objects with decals.
Mairi has received a number of commissions, scholarships and awards including an Australian Postgraduate Award to undertake a Masters of Fine Arts (completed in 2011), being commissioned by Ten Days on the Island Art Festival to create a large scale outdoor artwork for the 2011 Festival and a ArtStart grant from the a Australia Council for the Arts. Mairi has been selected as a finalist in the 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015 Glover Art Prize.
Mairi Ward artist cv