Mariko Gray describes herself as a chaotic creative, unwilling to settle into any particular mode of self-expression. As a result, her work spans everything from traditional Japanese bonsai through to “death growl” heavy metal vocals. Thematically, she is drawn to dualities, reflecting the inner conflicts, contradictions, and paradoxes of her life. She is also fond of dark themes often relating to psychology, but also to society and the possibly futile struggle of humanity against the forces of nature that will inevitably reclaim our remnants in any post-apocalyptic scenario.
Mariko is best known online as DestroyerMariko in her hobby as a YouTuber. She started her channel in 2008 intending it to just be a personal diary, but unexpectedly gained a core following who would go on to become some of her most loyal long-term supporters. Like the rest of her work, her videos conform to no specific niche. Most of her videos are vlogs exploring mental health, but she has also filmed dark alternative fashion reviews, music covers, bonsai tutorials, tech unboxings and more.
In Sydney, Mariko is better known for her music as a vocalist, violinist, and programmer in the metal and dark alternative scenes. She is currently focusing on her solo industrial project as DestroyerMariko, but has also been in local metal bands Wintergaunt (2013), Rainbow Death Ray (2014-2016), and A.D.Destroyer (2020). She loves to experiment with vocal extremes, especially in switching between semi-classical high-pitched clean singing, and animalistic low growls and screams. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree.
When it comes to visual arts, Mariko is constantly exploring, and has found a new freedom firstly after joining Underground ARTspace in 2022, and later in setting up her own private studio space. Her most recent work has begun to incorporate text to a greater degree, drawing from the advice and encouragement of Michelle Cawthorn who taught in her Master of Art degree. Mariko has always used the written word to express herself, in poetry, blogs, and rants, but now combines it with colour and texture to create an entirely new experience. Still nervous about the wider art world, she primarily shares her journey with her followers on Patreon, affectionately known as her “cult”.
Mariko works at Bonsai Art Pty Ltd in Belrose, and also tends her own growing bonsai collection at home on the Lower North Shore.
She has two dogs, and perhaps one too many imaginary voices in her head…