Biography

 Artist, set designer and avid learner, Mary began her career in the visual arts by drawing on the walls of her parent’s home in Dallas, Texas. Always one to wear black and listen to avant-garde music in high-school she found her way into art school in Virginia, printmaking, etching and working in the campus theatre. Post graduation lead to a visual merchandising job in Washington D.C., dressing windows by day and painting and drawing at the Corcoran by night. Feeling the need to continue to improve her abilities, she returned to school to study interior design and weaving. This path lead to a job with an interior design firm in Dallas were she erased ground plans printed on vellum. This job was short lived. At the suggestion of a friend, Mary sent a cv to a movie production ( J.F.K.). Showing up with a scale model of a table, a pencil and a smile, Mary was hired on her first feature film. So began her career in film and television as a set designer and art director. Los Angeles seemed the next logical move and there she stayed for 15 years, loving the pace and constant exposure to new ideas that each project insured. As one does, Mary moved to Austin in 2004 then Paris, France in 2007. It took several years to settle into her new French life but finding a new film team with whom work with was a welcome event. With the same team for the next6 years she worked on films including Hugo Cabret, Hunger Games, Dunkirk (Summer 2017) and Boule et Bille. As new media has inserted itself into most aspects of our lives, a sense of missing out on something big in storytelling started to become a familar feeling. Back to school she went to get her MFA in Transdisciplinary New Media (expected graduation May 2018).  New opportunities in storytelling revealed themselves as shebecame familar with tools like virtual reality, augmented reality, app development and digital art (processing 3, Max SMP, Jitter, 3d prining) It is also here that her own work came to light. Having carried out the execution of other peoples ideas for 25 years the need to create and develop her own work came to the surface. This work focuses on what gives humans the abilty to makea connection between one another, why it is important and how best to create an experience that fosters human connection. The two pieces from this year are Defiant Girl and Beep. At the core of each piece is the Ms. Saisselin’s desire to understand what reasonates between people. Defiant girl is a multi-media piece which includes a slow motion film, printmaking, book-making and photography. Here Mary wants her audience to drop into the stillness inside them selves to find their most authentic self. Beep is an interactive installation using Arduino with a distance sensor, GIFS and photography. The question proposed in this piece is at what point can humans not integrate all the media thrown at them daily? Is it stopping human connection? The thread that runs through Ms. Saisselin’s work has consistently been creating space for human interactionand how best to use the available tools to enhance this experience or story.