Martha Ferris grew up on her family farm on the banks of the Big Black River in western Mississippi, and her early work reflects the rich variety and vivid colors of the flowers, trees and abundant wildlife that flourishes in the Big Black River Basin.
From the beginning Martha committed herself to a program of continuous experimentation and constant change, a process that took her work from small patches of fabric transformed by traditional techniques, particularly batik, to the large scale splash pools she designed for the Mississippi Museum of Art's public gardens, a project that covers more than 500 square feet and employs light, water, high powered pumps, brightly colored mosaics and advanced computer technology to create a sophisticated work of art that doubles as a children's play space. These are the McRae's Children's Fountains, and they have been widely written about and praised not only for their beauty but also for their civic value.
Martha continues to experiment across a growing range of media. In the past few years she has focused on a series of paintings, Cityscapes, that extends her sense of place far beyond her family farm. These recent paintings, which display Martha's long standing love of exacting geometry and brilliant coloring, detail her response to cities around the world to which she has traveled, cities as far away in time and space as Damascus, Los Angeles, New York, and Berlin.