Colchester Arts Centre, East

Lisa Wesley

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary was both a fantastical reimagining and a real journey into the microcosm of the plant, insect, invisible organism and animal communities that inhabit the graveyard of Colchester Arts Centre, formerly the church St Mary at the Walls.

Through darkly humorous illustration and citizen science, Lisa and the artistic director of Colchester Arts Centre Anthony Roberts,  engaged with members of the local community involved in conservation or environmental matters to document their extraordinary achievements and the real and imagined fauna and flora who inhabit the graveyard.

Find out more about the project here:

Colchester Arts Centre

Church St, Colchester CO1 1NF


Lisa Wesley

Lisa Wesley is a multidisciplinary artist, whose work ranges from performance to installation, collage to video, photography to epic, durational model making.

Themes and issues contained in her work concern living in contemporary Britain, the blurring of the line between reality and fantasy, the ironic play between fact and fiction and the inversion of ‘lowbrow’ into ‘highbrow’ culture. She creates work by combining fragmentary layers, autobiography, witnessed events or second-hand information together with found objects.

In 2010, she made the decision to stop making art and focus on building a specialist plant and seed nursery (Growild Nursery). Along with her partner, she has also created a wildlife haven at their nursery, including a 5 acre wildflower meadow on what was once over-grazed farmland. In Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, she returns to art to combine her love of nature with themes she has previously explored.