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Meet Mara Acoma

Pagan Photographic Artist based in Peterlee

Mara’s journey began when her mother was terminally ill with cancer. Having always been interested in cameras and photography, they became a coping mechanism for the events that were happening with her mum.

Having seen her mother go through a number of near- death experiences, it prompted Mara to view death differently, as a natural part of the life cycle. All this gave birth to Mara’s first project ‘The Ghost Project,’ two years in length and started in the final stages of her mother’s illness.

“It’s not about you when someone dies” Mara says. “You need to be strong to support the other person. I needed to create those images as a way to cope.”

“Looking back at them now they are like ‘oracle cards’ with a camera, although I didn’t realise it at the time. Cameras can act as magick boxes to look into the other realm. The Ghost Project was instinctive, I needed to create it.”

One of Mara’s favourite photos is “From the Darkness” taken when she had just received some good news about her mum.

“She was still terminal, but we’d received a stay of execution. She came with me to Rievaulx Abbey where this was taken and waited in the coffee shop. I got the camera set up on a timer and I just twirled around in front of it in a huge release of emotions.”

From The Darkness

Mara never uses photoshop and all the images are created using photographic techniques. Inspiration for the projects comes from her subconscious: “I can wake up in the middle of the night, assaulted by an idea” she says. “This can manifest in two ways, it’s either instinctive like the Ghost Project and something that I need to do, or like Denziens I can see the ‘final images’ but then have to work out how to create them.

The Denziens continues the spiritual journey of the Ghost Project, moving outside of the self and into the realm of the Spirits, the Fae, the Gods and Goddesses.

The Autumnal Green Man

“One of my favourite places that I have been is Pripyat in Ukraine which was the inspiration for the e/utopia project. I was studying for my MA in photography at the time and ended up missing a few lectures when I had the chance to go.

It was an amazing place, the decaying streets and buildings of the exclusion zone echoed with the ghosts of the people who had, had to leave. It was so inspiring that I ended up changing the course assignment that I had started in the UK and instead submitted the e/utopia project. It was my highest mark of the whole course! I passionately believe that it came together because I followed my gut instinct and went with a project that I felt was right.”

e/utopia- Small Print 4

The thing that affects Mara the most is when people really connect with her images.

“I’ve had people hugging me and crying their eyes out. It happens quite a lot. It’s such an honour and a privilege that I have created something that touches someone so much, it keeps me going. I am so glad that my own experiences of grief have helped someone else with theirs.”

If you would like to know more about Mara, see more of her work or purchase any of her limited-edition prints, you can find her:


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