Hello sports fans, it has been a while since I checked in. A lot has happened over the last year. I’ve moved studio a couple of times, but I finally think I found the right place. As part of the redevelopment program for Spode Works in Stoke-on-Trent, part of the factory has been developed into artist’s studios and creative industry spaces by the London based company ACAVA. I was lucky enough to land a space which suited my needs. It’s large, it’s got good ventilation and it has internet. So expect to be kept in tune with the vibration of my practice with increasing frequency.
So 2019, My first day back at the studio.
So far, I’ve taken boards, canvases and images out ready to begin new art. I’ve drank some tea. I’ve done some editing and promotion for the Sadd Artist and I’m going to spray-paint some stuff before I leave.
New year’s resolution is to start all those projects I’ve been putting off:
Sculpture of Siamese mannequins
Paintings on sheet steel (designed to hang in trees and rust)
A whole lot of collaborative collage incorporating various art pals
So, big changes in the works.
Most exciting project is top secret at the moment, let us say it has something to do with reconnecting ‘people’ with the visual arts and their own creativity in general. The ‘antidote’ to the perceived elitism which pervades the general collective.
In my way of thinking everyone is an artist it’s just that the majority are repressed to such a degree that they doubt their own creativity. Allow me to explain…If we assume, for example that we are all musicians, yet a lot of us are tone def, does that mean we should not attempt to be musical? I play the piano…badly, but it makes me feel good (Lez Dawson good).
Should I doubt myself simply because I am no concert pianist?
Shall I hide my playing from the rest of the world? Probably, however I shall not stop playing. If more of us had this attitude and applied it to all types of creativity, then perhaps we would be more whole and less jig-saw piece?
Hello Fans, so what’s new? Well with me, a shiny revamped website. I decided to go with images from the Spode works in an attempt to ‘build’ the atmosphere of my working environment. You may recognize some of the images as ones that previously featured on this very blog…because why make work for yourself? In addition to the website make over I wrote a new artist’s statement, from the heart. That was difficult. I didn’t write it in the third person, which prevented me from being able to hide away and talk about technique, yeah dropped all that stuff. “My world is slightly darker.” It felt good to just be honest about the whole thing, basically, I’m an artist in the same way cats climb trees or dogs bark, it’s not a choice, it’s genuinely who I am. Pain laid bare etcetera. If you would like to read my artist’s statement just go to my website: www.markedmondsart.com and leave me a comment on here. Is it too dark or not too dark enough?
This month we had an open day at Spode Works also featuring an exhibition. I’ve included some images, I sold ‘No Horizon’ so sorry if you were interested in that one, it’s gone. Also, with the Help of Fred Philips and his lovely wife Pat plus a few other helping livers, we manged to polish off a bottle of Grappa. So, all in all quite a successful open day and who knew that Sainsburys stocked a decent Grappa? Just like Grandad used to make!
If you peruse the attached gallery you will notice a very different style of painting. Yes, that’s right, I fancied a ‘break’. This particular image is my homage to Venice and my current Stoke based surroundings. Done in a modernist style (for now), I’m sure I will add some more anarchic elements later on. I’ve been painting live on Instagram which is a first for me – nice to get real time feedback, even if it is just “awesome pic mate”, the digital age is not quite the age of sophisticated critique, but seriously who cares?
So after the months of hard work, the solo occurred. Great to see people getting the chance to interact with the art. It’s all well and good having the work in your studio and seeing it day after day. This only gives you a rough idea of how the finished crescendo will appear. That’s the thing with visual work, it only becomes art when it’s in the public domain and people can interact with it in their own way.
It’s the questions I like, viewers can spot all kinds of items within the work, often completely overlooked by the artist. Is it a fish? No idea but it could potentially point to a deep seated psychological trauma involving a fear of drowning/Christianity etc. A solo show is a sort of group therapy – your audience don’t know it but they are putting the pieces of your psyche back to together after the artist metaphorically exploded their own head creating the show.
So these past few weeks have all been about the ‘Hidden Altrincham’ which is an art festival near Manchester in…erm…Altrincham. It has been a well organised event with lots of different and exciting creative types kicking about. I personally have 5 paintings spread across 2 different venues. I rolled out the classic Perspex paintings from University, which I haven’t exhibited for quite a few years. If your a fan this is your chance to check em’ out. The exhibition is open until this Sunday, so if you haven’t been yet it’s definitely worth a look.
Upcoming: I’m going to put a few pieces in Chester art fair and I have a solo in December…more about that nearer the time.
Until next time, please take care of yourselves and others