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Mark Walter working in biro

Mark Walter discusses More Mono Than Chrome

Mark Walter, artist and arts writer, talks about his latest exhibition, More Mono than Chrome, at the Priory Meadow Gallery under the auspices of the Hastings Art School to Jude Montague.

Chance and outcomes

The new work in More Mono than Chrome represents chance, found objects, surfaces and processes. Themes that I have been investigating for a few years now since the MA in Fine Art I completed in 2021 at Brighton University. I have several strands in my practice. I look at my surroundings when going on walks and I take images/photos that I use for ideas/for my oil paintings which can sometimes take several years.

The second strand is more about Chance in that I don’t know the outcome because I use found objects to apply the paint/ink such as wood, cardboard, cardboard tubes, and paint scrapers, paint rollers, wood and even chopsticks which I used for some of my latest work. Anything that can make a difference to the outcome of my work and how each tool makes different marks. Every painting/print is a one-off even though I do sometimes use a monotype printing process when applying the medium, whether it be ink or paint.

My recent work has focused on a very reduced colour palette and exploring the many possibilities that a reduced palette can bring. My previous work was a much slower process but similar in that it is still about process. The main difference is that the faster simpler process has freed me up and made things simple, and it started from the artist’s block I had in 2020 which still sometimes happens.

What’s the point of abstract art?

What is the importance of art!?

I think abstract art is important because it can take you out of your comfort zone, and make you see the world differently. All art has an importance – without art the world would be a dull place and without creatives and creativity I don’t see how the world would function as we know it!

Where next?

I did my BA in sculpture at the London Art Academy in 2012-15. Drawing is my medium for ideas mainly, but I use biro in some of my works and l am currently working on a two-metre plus biro drawing on linen for the solo exhibition in December. I like using biro as it’s a good way of freeing up my process and it gives the work a mind of its own, and I don’t know where it is going to take me.

My work has developed a lot, particularly this year with my process, and I feel more at one with my work which has taken a long time and it’s strange how it suddenly happened or maybe more that it’s crept up on me! I plan to carry on in a similar vein but target London again as I have not done a lot there since moving out of London before Covid.

Like myself, I think a lot of people/artists have a long time to recover, and this year I feel I have moved on and I do feel positive about next year. I have three works in my exhibition in December that are new and are on found objects. From paintings in frames found on the street, I have then reworked them.

Hastings Art School

Hastings Art School is run by Julia Kotziamani and Julia’s energy is infectious. There are three terms, and you can dip in and out as you wish. It’s for all artists and you don’t have to have an art qualification and importantly it’s a very affordable price. The space is provided by Hypa Studios, a great charity that matches creatives with empty spaces and helps regenerate the high street by giving artists free space to use for their creative energies.

Hastings and St Leonard’s art scene

I have lived in St Leonard’s for about 15 months and l love it here. I have been a full-time artist for about 11 years, and I am also an arts writer. in those 11 years, I have lived in London, Brighton, and St Leonards, so I cover most of the acronyms! I had been told about the unique art scene there is in Hastings and St Leonards and it’s true, and I am privileged and delighted to be part of it.

More Mono Than Chrome runs from 6 to 10 December at the Priory Meadow Gallery with a special public event on the 10th from 1-5 pm. Mark is also involved in two other exhibitions before the end of the year, with two works at The Rogues affordable winter exhibition until 23 December at the Rogue Gallery as part of a group show and at the Electro Studios in West St Leonards from 1 to 3 December, also organized by the Hastings Art School, titled The Old is Dying.

‘It’s an ongoing expression of our perceived linearity of time’: Mark Walter

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Posted 12:56 Saturday, Dec 2, 2023 In: Arts & Culture,Visual Arts

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