With a reluctance to engage in exhibiting artwork, Mark turned to his sketchbooks for everything from quick sketches at home or on holiday, with preparatory drawings for paintings and the development of ideas. Latterly the books became his Visual Diaries of events and thoughts, often stimulated by the wildlife and creatures around him. In this way he was able to develop them to a stage where they became the final outcomes, but hidden in books as opposed to hanging on walls of galleries.
The real advantage was that nothing remained 'out-of-bounds' with simple ideas flourishing amongst the work which he rated as 'unfit'.
Clearly the downside was the lack of exposure given to his thoughts, though this was very much a 'double-edged sword' as he no longer had to explain what anything represented or meant - he often captioned the pages with his own descriptions and philosophy.
Mark was given fresh motivation following a visit to Cambridge University Library.
An exhibition followed the development of the book as a living entity throughout history. He saw an opportunity to create books in a form not generally acknowledged....where they exist as unique pieces of artwork and not mass-produced by the soul-less printing press.
When Oliver, one of Mark's grandsons was born he felt the need to write and illustrate a story for him - initial sketches followed by the book.
SEE 'BOOKS' page.
Moving away from the commercial world was the opportunity for Mark to consider the world, and the place of all of life on earth, and mankind's place within it.
Work in these large A3 books allowed for an exploration through words and images to question everything accepted in society; again allowing them to become visual diaries, hidden and personal and with hope of being contentious!
Top: pages from 'COME AGAIN'
and below from 'FOREVER'.
In turn these led to Mark writing his book 'ETCETERA',
another glorious failure!
These developing 'Hidden Works' or 'Visual Diaries' remain at the leading edge of Mark's work and he will be adding further examples in future - keep looking at the 'Fresh Skies' page for more.