This exhibition shares work created by Mark for his recently completed MFA in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University, during which time he focussed on exploring a disused railway line on the island of Anglesey, North Wales. Within the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus lockdown, Mark has returned to his core focus on drawing, particularly using pencil and ink, but there are also glimpses of his wider practice to be found too and of the work he is planning. Drawn to islands in particular, he is now developing an exciting project based on aspects of the rich and resonant naval history of Orkney.
Some original works, and prints, will be for sale.
My work explores landscapes and industrial history, looking for stories of transformation and change, especially those that are overlooked, or hidden in plain sight. In recent years, it has taken me to locations as close to home as Oxford and Didcot, and across the UK as far as Anglesey and Orkney.
In the summer of 2015, on little more than a whim, I bought a cheap notebook and a set of pencils and took them on a family holiday. The first thing I drew was a yukka plant. The subject matter didn't seem to matter as much as the process: it gave me a great new way to relax, a great activity to do with my daughters: and it gave me such pleasure that I knew I had to keep going.
That simple drawing was my first step on a journey that has enabled me to rediscover creativity and imagination that had lain dormant in me since I was a boy, and it wasn't long before I wanted to see what more I could I do. So, having filled several notebooks with drawings, doodles, and a few disasters, I enrolled on a one-year Art & Design Diploma at the City of Oxford College. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
I am now establishing myself as an independent artist, with commissions under my belt, a growing audience. I completed my MFA in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University, in September 2020, attaining a Distinction. In 2020,despite the challenges of lockdown, I also exhibited work at the 2020 Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, Modern Art Oxford ('FLOW', September 2020), and in a number of online exhibitions. I am a member of West Ox Arts (WOA) and became a member of the Oxford Art Society in January 2021.