Hello Mark, first of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?
Hi Christie, at the moment I’m well and truly into a very large wooden mosaic. I’m working on “Uphoarding” – a 200 metre long wooden mural to be installed around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park in Hackney Wick, London. It involves ten 7 metre long key pieces, which are coming along nicely. I’ve got a few other things on the go – using wood and also exploring other materials & ideas. But they need more incubation – so I’m keeping those under wraps for now!
Could you tell us some more about your woodworks? How would you describe your style?
I primarily use recycled and found materials – to create abstract works which reflect urban, structural shapes. It’s a style where contemporary street art and abstraction collide with design & Constructivism. You could say I paint with wood & other recycled materials – a cross between painting and sculpture.
Would you give a brief walk through your workflow, how do you produce your pieces?
Most pieces tend to be based upon a rough sketch – which might be inspired by, or adapted to suit, the wood I have available. I initially gather and lay out the wood loosely – to get the general shapes in place and to plan the layering, moving parts, cutaways etc. Then it’s a case of zooming in on areas – adding detail – sanding, finishing and assembling blocks as I go – until a piece is complete. It’s a pretty instinctive yet quite modular process – building a set of blocks to work with…
How has your work evolved over the years from when you where beginning?
I painted as a hobby on and off for a few years – whilst I was working as a designer & illustrator. When I started to take my art more seriously I moved from abstract paintings through to collage – with works involving structural planes of colour and so it was a natural step to then move those into 3D planes of wood. The use of layering and 3D planes brings almost endless possibilities – I get a bit carried away with all the ideas.. so I’ll stop there!
Who’s the first designer that comes to your mind in a second?
Moholy Nagy. Artist, designer, typographer… genius.
What’s the place or what do you do when you feel you’re thinking in a bright way?
Usually an evening in my studio with nowhere to be the next morning. Knowing I can work through without having to get to bed. Music up, kettle on and hours ahead..
Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
Create a large sculptural piece in concrete.
Something you want the world to know about you.
I’ve got ideas coming out of my ears… watch this space.
Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.
Reckless umbrella use ( I’m 6’4″ tall )
Your idea about social networks.
I prefer pub based ones – involving drinks around a table. But the Facebooks, Instagrams and Tumblrs of the world have their place. On the upside – it’s easy to see what’s going on amongst your peers and to get your art out into the public domain. On the downside – there’s a lot more visual “noise” to be heard amongst. There’s something to be said for working in a creative bubble – without the distractions of Instagram likes, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. It’s all time consuming stuff. They’re a necessity nowadays… but real life is usually better!
What’s overrated/underrated today?
Overrated – umbrellas ( see above )
Underrated – a jigsaw that cuts straight.