“It is impossible to love and be wise” – Francis Bacon
‘I find myself working towards an ‘impossible’ dream, the dream makes perfect sense as you dream it. What I work to achieve has no place in the rational mind, it is the creative outpourings of and imagination that exists somewhere between the reality of sense and of feeling. Each artwork in the show is an aspect of a realised concept extracted directly from my imagination and plunged into your reality, for your viewing pleasure’.
Mark Edmonds is an artist based in Stoke on Trent working exclusively in mixed media, which is a conscious choice by him.
‘I work in contemporary mediums. My studio is a mess of circuit boards, plastic resins and paint. I spend my time meditating and splicing one material with another. I love the contrast I create between colours and textures, everything is in a constant juxtaposition. I am probably considered a painter by many, but I feel more like a sculptor who works on canvas. To me the challenge is to create something with ‘feeling’ that evokes strong feelings in others. I am not always successful and at times this journey is painful, especially when you make that connection. Often, I feel naked when this happens, because someone is looking at me without my armour of bullshit. After the initial shock dies down and I no longer feel as vulnerable, I realise I have achieved something, that I am not pretending, there is a genuine connection.
Meditation and being a flawed human being is the key to my creative ‘process’. I tend to start with the structure of the painting or the concept. This is very much a conscious act, a little bit like visualising a sandcastle. As I work further into the piece, the original idea is ‘washed away’ each time, the mental image compromised. Each subsequent layer of paint, plastic or texture becomes a response to the modified vision. This is where the structure gives way to the feeling and the conscious begins to merge with the unconscious. This can become difficult to reconcile at times, there is risk involved. Sometimes paintings become over-worked when they should be abandoned. Sometimes detail is lost, sometimes I get lost.
I think contextually my work exists somewhere between abstract expressionism and the conceptual art foragers, for whom, Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Readymade’ is the life blood. The reoccurring theme would be creation born of frustration, be it with others or with oneself. I long for a certain amount of creative freedom. I am attempting to avoid the potholes of over thinking. Concentrate on breathing, clear the mind, and follow intuition, well for as long as possible in a heavy duty filter mask.
I take my tools of expression, and all the techniques I have developed and in rare cases mastered, then I leave the safety of roads firmly travelled. My journey will take me into the unknown, the black void of nothingness. When I return I have unlocked a piece of the puzzle but paid for it with a piece of myself. This is the price all creative minds pay until ultimately there is no exchange left’.
The exhibition will run until 23 July.
Join us for a glass of bubbly and some breath-taking contemporary art on 11 July at 7 PM.