Is there a more epic and celebrated music festival than Glastonbury? Personally, nothing comes anywhere near it and that’s coming from someone who’s never managed to get a bloody ticket for the damned thing! The history of the festival is fascinating, set within the iconic Worthy Farm amongst the Somerset hills and under the watch of Glastonbury Tor. The music, entertainment and people are as diverse as what Mother Nature serves up each year.
For those who follow my work you will know that music is a catalyst and always the backdrop for my artworks, inspiring a concept, adding fuel to the fire of emotion that drives it or twisting lyrics to amplify what I am conveying. Art is everything, music is everything, they are how I bleed and how ultimately, I heal. It acts as a crutch, a comfort blanket, a shot of adrenaline.
A song can position you, to take you back to a time when things were great or not so great. For me, large parts of Glastonbury remind me when things were incredibly dark and challenging, times that I have fought to move clear from. For that weekend, watching hours and hours of the festival was a chance to escape and I loved every minute of it and was always gutted when it was over.
So many will have their own favourite memories from those who owned the stage, Metallica in 2014 was just stunning for a metal fan to see them smash it. Radiohead’s set in 1997 was beautiful, Paolo Nutini’s ‘Iron Sky’ lives long in the memory whilst the brilliant Foals set kickstarted my love for another great band who I wasn’t aware of before the festival. It’s always great to see the controversy surrounding some of the headliners and then watching them confirm why they deserve a place on the pyramid – all hail Stormzy!
In 2019 I set about planning how I could celebrate Glastonbury turning 50, to see it then cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic was gutting whilst naturally completely appropriate. I continued regardless and what you now see is an image that showcases each and every one of the headliners since T-Rex kicked things off in 1970. Music brings people together; Glastonbury brings people together and my piece ‘GLASTO!’ brings artists together for one hell of a session!
The iconic Ribbon Tower and Pyramid stage sit in front of the silhouetted hills as the sun sets or rises depending on how you see it. I wanted to capture the energy and passion as they perform together whilst also conveying that wonderful sense of calm after overdoing it. A fire is the centre piece to bring people together and to reminisce, the magical details that radiate out from the flames and fill the scene signify this as the fuel for stirring and reigniting memories, some to keep close, others to set free.
I hope you love this piece as much as I have loved creating it and I hope that it pulls at your heart strings, whilst doing justice to the phenomenal work by Michael and Emily Eavis. Nothing can stand up to the live festival but I’m pretty confident ‘GLASTO!’ can give you hours of entertainment trying to tick off all of the hidden headline acts. So, grab a drink and your wellies and enjoy the spirit of Glastonbury, I predict a riot!
Edition Size: 20 + 5AP
Specification: - Hand embellished - Floated album cover, inner sleeve and record and double mount - Custom spray-painted frame - Sticker decal - Hand signed by artist
When workload allows Mark embraces client commissions and has enjoyed amazing success to date. If you have been inspired by the work that you have seen and have a specific idea or simply a seed then please do get in touch.
This piece is ultimately a gritty prison cell scene from within Shawshank State Penitentiary that features a good number of references to the movie plot which is dominated by the escape element but where this has been adapted to represent a more conceptual message that reaches out to a greater audience than just those who love the film itself.
Shawshank Redemption is such a powerful film, not just aesthetically but one that conveys such an enduring power of hope, perfect for my work and the message that I look to portray as often as possible. I have set about creating a scene that is at first study an engaging take on the plot, a window into Andy’s cell but through modifying the tunnel element to the piece it exposes a greater depth.
The tunnel is shallower yet no less dramatic, almost window-like. I have set the view through this window to show the iconic shoreline scene of Zihuatanejo - Mexico. This creates a more direct and blatant vision of where Andy hopes to be one day once free. To reinforce this I have chosen to indicate that the hole in the wall was covered in fact by a simple picture of the same scene rather than of the poster from the movie that is torn down by the Governor. This creates a different take on the original narrative whilst more importantly reaches out to so many of us that have innocent aspirations, hopes and dreams.
The beach view could mean leaving their worries and their fears behind and creating a new life for themselves or it could simply represent a holiday. Both are of equal importance as a something deemed more simple could represent a much much bigger challenge through restrictions such as money or other restrictive factors. Andy hoped to walk the sands of that beach from being wrongly incarcerated for close to 20 years and subjected to a terrifying ordeal, to another person it could represent their hope of one day being able to travel after being set free from the shackles of debt, cast over them from someone else’s doing, both represent good being restricted and caged, birds aren’t meant to be caged.
The image through the wall represents something different to everyone who has hope and fights to keep hold of it. Most often a task that appears huge and impenetrable can be chipped away at through time with something simple. The fact that the breakthrough was made with a tiny hammer is why I have placed the tool in the foreground, supporting its importance but reinforcing its size. On all levels it showcases the call to those have been dealt a bad card in life to not just accept it, to establish a way to win and to be free and to achieve ones’ dreams rather than giving up and accepting, to get busy living or get busy dying. The objects placed within the scene are a mix of actual objects that those who know and love the classic movie will recognise and some less obvious, more conceptual details that make you think.
Good has flown away, illustrated by the dove feathers whilst the bad remains only to look out in isolation, symbolised by the solitary black crow that is featured to represent the corrupt Governor who is left to peer through the hole in defeat. The browned falling oak leaves symbolise time escaping for Andy’s friend Red to gain freedom and set out to find what Andy had buried under that solitary oak tree. Andy was a lover of Chess, his time in prison and his plot to escape were a tactical battle, culminating in a masterstroke by the ‘Pawn’ in defeating the ‘King’, this is depicted subtley within the scene.
The other details I will leave for you to find and consider. I genuinely loved watching the Shawshank Redemption years ago, albeit back then more on face value, now, with way more life experience I embrace absolutely everything that it stands for and I hope that I have done justice to a true masterpiece.
Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
Collection: Lost in Hollywood
Edition Size: 25 + 5 AP
Specification: Custom framed, limited edition fine art print, hand signed by artist.
So, this piece literally came out of the blue! In May 2020, as part of my ‘Lost In Hollywood 3’ collection, I created a piece entitled ‘Q-Division’ - a conceptual piece designed to celebrate and combine all of Daniel Craig’s James Bond movies. ‘No Time To Die’ was due to be released that year and I wanted to mark the finale of his fifteen-year tenure as Bond with something special. Then the pandemic took hold, and it is only now (September 2021) that the film finally makes its long-awaited appearance. I was in the middle of creating a piece for my ‘Retrospective 3’ collection when an idea was born, and I just had to run with it. Despite having a clear plan for each month, it was something that got into my head, and I just thought, bollocks to it! I’m doing it! So here we are, with ‘Underwater Love’.
Memories of the classic Bond films as a kid are vivid and special and I cherish them. I lost my way with several of them after that but became drawn to them more for the beautiful introductions that showcase the lead song, they are works of art in themselves. ‘Skyfall’ was an incredible example of this, but it was the hypnotic and surreal qualities of ‘Spectre’ that stuck with me. It is just brilliant! I guess, it is that quality that I strive to inject into my work, and it has driven this piece. The scene is dominated by the beautiful Aston Martin DB10 that is flanked by the backdrop of Rome as Bond waits to welcome Madeleine Swann. The two characters add a real quality to the piece as their eyes are on you, helping to put you in the scene, or just outside of view. If you look closely, you will see that her dress is starting to morph into a mermaid’s tail, it is a beautiful addition.
My portfolio has a good number of underwater pieces, it is the concept of not knowing if you are above or below the surface that I love. So, for this piece you will see that the octopus that creeps and curls itself throughout the intro to ‘Spectre’ is present and is coming towards you, but is it through the air or making its way through the water? ‘Underwater Love’ explores the concept of being under ones’ spell, hypnotised, giddy by their presence and power. Where you are influenced or controlled by one through being fascinated, enchanted, or seduced. Reality gets blurred as you retreat into your own, very different world. This is the point where it could get heavy, intense but that is for another day. If you embrace how I think and work then you will get what this piece can truly symbolise, but it can simply be enjoyed for a beautiful scene made up of beautiful characters, a beautiful car and a beautiful city. So, even though Daniel Craig’s time as Bond nears its end, my apparent love for mermaids lives strong!
Collection: Lost In Hollywood VHS
Edition Size: 20 + 5AP
Specification: - Hand embellished - Floated poster and double mount - Custom spray-painted frame - Sticker decals - Hand signed by artist