Trespass sent 13 artists throughout the UK a ski helmet to custom design. These helmets were then auctioned off for charity in January 2016. Mark was lucky enough to be one of the 13 chosen to be involved.
'The opportunity to work with such an exciting brand as Trespass was one that I jumped at, the fact that it would be a charity auction and would benefit an organisation that is especially relevant to me and my family made the project truly incredible.'
'My choice of charity was the Alzheimer’s Society. My Dad, Michael has been restricted for the past several years by Primary Progressive Aphasia, which is a form of Alzheimer's that affects a person’s ability to communicate as they should whilst also causing issues with memory loss and comprehension. It is incredibly frustrating and cruel and despite throwing myself into situations to help and confront, is something that if I’m honest I don’t want to accept.
Through working on this project it made it real and it hurt, but my aim was to confront and channel my emotions into the piece so that the end result would be incredibly personal and expressive whilst having a clear link to my charity and the relentless work that they do.
I always strive to lay down a strong and genuine narrative in my work, I believe that the title of each piece is crucial, as it becomes the first words to the story. I have chosen the title ‘More Than Words’ for this piece. Primarily because of the impact of PPA and how you take for granted the importance of words and letters, whilst on a positive note finding ways in adversity to adjust if the words aren’t forthcoming. 'More than words’ also could not be a more apt phrase to do justice to the level of pride, admiration and love that exists for my father.
I saw the opportunity with the helmet in both how it is shaped and how it is worn to take the form of a brain, for me it was the only route and meant that it had the best possible link to my charity. Why rose petals? They have been a common feature in my work as an artist, they are a symbol of love, a gesture of affection, they are beautiful and delicate yet they will wither and fade. By depicting the brain using these petals it symbolises what I am wanting to convey in so many ways. They represent the intrinsicity and fragility of the brain whilst symbolising the persons’ love and character. The mentioned gestures of affection link to the acts of kindness given by everyone connected. A number of the petals have changed colour in areas, these represent the areas of the brain that become affected by the disease.
In my work I like to use fire, it highlights key areas that have a negative impact whilst on a personal level it epitomises my anger and frustration. This is further supported by the subtle inclusion of barbed wire that signifies both restriction and protection. In essence, the piece fuses together the flower and the flame and shows how closely they exist to one other, common place in both my work and character. Without doubt, tackling this piece was intimidating and intense but I am immensely proud of the end result.'
'Without doubt, tackling this piece has been intimidating and intense as I knew I would have to confront the subject matter and the ultimate reality that exists. Subsequently the emotions that came from that process were harnessed and transmitted into the artwork. To put myself into that position I wanted to strive to create something that did not just look striking but that could be used as a tool to showcase the impact of the disease on the brain.
The reaction from all parties involved has been quite something and to see the interest in the auction and the bidding unfold was great, really great. As the charity, Alzheimers Research UK is so close to my heart I was hoping to generate a good amount of money and equally importantly awareness from the ‘Snowcase’ campaign and I am so pleased with the end results.
It was a cracking project to be involved with and I thank Trespass for inviting me to be part of it. Finally and for me most importantly, a special mention to my Father, Michael whos’ strength and determination has served as a source of inspiration to me from day one.'
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