Mara Acoma is a photographic artist whose work explores ghosts, spirits and denizens of other hidden realms. Creator of ‘The Ghost Project’ where her ghost explores near-death experiences and worlds just beyond our normal vision she draws upon historical sources and the archetypes of a spiritual journey to transports us into a world where ‘What If’ holds sway. Her latest creation ‘The Denizens’ continues the journey into the domain of spirits and the realms just beyond our own.
One of Maras’ earliest memories is the joy she felt when being allowed into her fathers’ darkroom as his ‘assistant’. After growing up she retained her fascination with both photography and old celluloid moving images, but life took her in a different direction into engineering and the sciences. Later when her mother was diagnosed with cancer she turned to photography as a creative coping mechanism, a move which eventually led to ‘The Ghost Project‘.
In 2013 she left her job and home in rural East Anglia, returning to the North East to care for her mother in the final stages of her illness. After her mother passed away, leaving Mara as the only remaining member of her family, she decided to stay in her childhood home and pursue her passion for photography. While she still misses her departed family she views losing them as the kick she needed to change her life, a final gift from her mother. This led to studying for a Master of Arts in Photography at the University of Sunderland. After graduating with a distinction in 2016 she became a founding member of ‘The Photographic Artists Review’ and ‘Yoden Arts’ as well as developing her own art practice on the beautiful East Durham coast.
Her spiritual and gothic imagery encompasses utopian and environmental themes centred around what it means to be human. These concepts coming into focus in her ‘e/utopia‘ and ‘The Entropy Garden‘ series, deepening her desire to tread lightly and leave a minimal footprint on the earth. Shifting her life towards sustainable living combined with her love of experimentation and analogue techniques led to the development of the Gayatype a distinctive, unique and organic way to produce an image. Although her view regarding the digital vs analogue debate is ‘whatever is the best tool for the job’ she remains happiest working in the darkroom.
Mara continues to live in the North East of England with her husband, spending as much time as she can in the peace of the Entropy Garden with her animals. She can often be found cycling or walking in the surrounding countryside discussing ideas for images with her spaniel Pebbles. This is because the dog is much more enthusiastic about art than the cat.