By Katy Cowan
When one considers the seemingly sombre paintings of British artist Mark Thompson, one might assume that he is offering a bleak, apocalyptic future where nothing but a nuclear winter prevails and no sign of human life, or anything for that matter, seems to exist. However, you’d be wrong. Mark’s primary drive as an artist is to try and make sense of his place in the world through the caprices and inconsistencies of memory.
He explains: “I do not seek to illustrate a particular place in point of fact, but rather develop and ultimately ‘make‘ a version of the world seen through the isolation of personal memories. The mind/body distinction – the phenomena of the mind seeming to look out at the world from behind the eyes – forms the basis of my attempt to understand and record the world through my own consciousness.
“The paintings in particular are works of memory – the slow development or exposure of a photograph being both a useful metaphor and an actuality in my practice. The filter of memory appears to retain only what is personally important, and the inevitable mix of my own history and experience fills in the gaps. Only that which remains is important – the extraneous and fleeting are not registered. The final image is therefore a remnant, the world distilled. This remembered world inevitably fades and decays, and I catch all I can before there is nothing left. This is my starting point.”
To discover more about Mark, who’s based in Peterborough and also loves photography as well as his painting, visit markthompson-artist.com. Or check out his profile on Art Finder.