Mary Flora Hart captures bustling cultural moments in her observational illustration

written by Hatti Rex

Nobody captures the nuances of everyday life quite like illustrator Mary Flora Hart, whose vivid collections of observational drawings capture the interesting details from mundane Monday moments just hanging out indoors to cultural events including Summer music festivals and the iconic Notting Hill Carnival. Her work takes on a whole new perspective when you’re stuck inside for whatever reason. 

Taking glimpses of the ordinary to new heights, with enhanced colour schemes and a particular focus on appreciating the smaller details, “the scenes themselves are often pretty average everyday locations or experiences,” she explains. “But I always look for details that give off clues towards a bigger picture, for example, a particular food that may hint at culture. I also try to capture unique viewpoints which make the viewer feel more involved.”

“Observational drawing allows me to go about life with a lot more enthusiasm”, Mary talks about her love for the medium. “I like taking everyday scenes and highlighting the existing beauty in the details or adding twists in colour and content to make exciting images.” As well as enjoying taking in and documenting her surroundings, there’s a more physical reason as to why her work takes this more direct form of reportage. Having learnt to draw by copying and tracing images, “if you asked me to draw from imagination/ without reference, you’d completely understand why the majority of my work is observational or at least starts that way.”

Although the main themes of her work are snapshots of music scenes and culture, regardless of the subject matter Mary’s drawings truly provide an immersive perspective into a particular place or experience, which is something we could definitely all use every now and then.

View Mary Flore Hart profile