Mars Drum was born and raised in the Wimmera region of Victoria. Growing up on a farm, she learned to love the rare features of her natural surroundings, such as the ancient twisted river gums, the wildly dramatic sunsets, or the white ducks waddling off in a perfect line to swim all day in the closest dam.
Following in both grandmothers' footsteps, she dedicated herself as a child and teenager to the task of honing skills in representational drawing, then as an adult discovering new freedom and expression in first video art, then painting in oils.
In 2001, following the September 11th U.S. hijacking attack and the subsequent media scape-goating of Muslims in Australia, Drum began to wear a black burka to public events around Melbourne, to expose the new breed of racism emerging around her in Melbourne.
With the invasion of Afghanistan by the Western world, Drum began working on her first series of oils on canvas for "The True History of Ned Kelly and Burka Woman”. Drum has held three solo painting exhibitions in 2008, 2010 and 2011 which track the fictional history of these two unlikely protagonists. Her "poetically political" artwork has been reviewed positively by Robert Nelson in the "The Age" newspaper, 2010, and by Michael Cathcart on "Bush Telegraph", Radio National, 2011.
Melbourne has been Drum's base for thirty years of "living the artful life", which included extended backpacking trips and residencies in Europe and Asia. She returned to the Wimmera in 2012, to settle down and enjoy plein air painting. Drum's next solo show is in her local town of Natimuk, West Wimmera region of Victoria.