The Apthorp gallery at artsdepot is delighted to announce the opening of a new exhibition by up and coming contemporary UK artist Mark Maxwell. Mark is a multidisciplinary artist who utilises painting, sculpture and video installation. He has worked on projects for artist/musician Brian Eno and has used his creative skills for designing experiences for companies such as Madame Tussauds. His artworks can be found in both private collections and corporate institutions.
Alchemy, transformation of materials and the power of iconic objects and places are subjects that are explored within Mark's practice.
Mark's art is inspired by alchemical processes; we will be showcasing two new films one of which, entitled 'element', depicts minute electrolytic processes in metals copper, aluminium and lead.
The metals are used as electrodes and are placed in a tank of copper sulphate solution; electric currents are passed through them, the solution being a medium for the transference of ions.
The polarities of the metals alternate over short periods of time causing the electrodes to build up and break down in turns; heavy particles fall to the floor of the tank and layers of particles in strata-like appearance build up over time - remnants of the history of the process.
Visually the scale of the piece is difficult to determine.The submerged landscape appears vast and the viewer is drawn in to an eerily beautiful, hypnotic and dream-like world.
The remaining fragments of the electrodes are sealed in acrylic slabs as if museum artefacts and attached with architectural fittings to the galleries walls.
(Mark is currently working on an art installation project relating to Dark Matter with scientist Felix Pirani a specialist in Einstein's theory).
His second film, entitled 'Gethsemane' is inspired by the poem by Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling describes the moments during the Great War when the soldiers in the front line were about to endure mustard gas and meet their 'predestined' fate.
He parallels their plight with Christ's time in the garden of Gethsemane shortly before crucifixion.
The video depicts swirling smoke and flying burning embers, its scale again difficult to ascertain. The video is slowed down revealing the behaviour of the smoke particles in an unfamiliar and liquid-like manner.
Another exploratory area is the concept of icon, and the power invested in iconic objects.The notion that fragments of the wooden cross that Christ carried before his crucifixion and relics such as stone fragments from churches in Jerusalem can for some people hold some divine property or spiritual power .
Mark often takes 3D facsimiles of places of an iconic nature and relocates them thereby allowing one to question the value of the object and whether it is the object itself or the place that the object belongs to that has the divine attributes.
Several locations of historical note such as the Roman London Wall, churches by Nicholas Hawksmoor and ancient standing stones have been utilised and certain areas within these places have had copper impressions taken from them and exhibited.
Similarly impressions are taken from places of no particular significance and are 'iconified' using gilding methods and oil paints.
New work in copper includes a 6 metre long repoussÚ impression taken from the actual Prime Meridian line, at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
The details of the brass meridian strip are replicated exactly in the copper sheet . The line begins from a 'scroll-like' roll of copper and finishes in a similar manner alluding to the fact that the line is continuous. The new 'appropriated' line in the exhibition cuts the gallery into two distinct areas creating a new divide and a new meridian, longitude 0░ 0' 0".
The wall sculpture 'three words' is site-specific and involves the creation of a large scale 3 dimensional depiction of a phrase in Braille. The giant dots appear to be formed by an embossing process punched through the fabric of the galleries wall.
The white on white piece is very tactile and interactive allowing people with impaired vision take on the challenge of reading the Braille which is almost 50 times larger than normal.
Other viewers have the opportunity to translate the phrase using the Braille alphabet shown next to the sculpture.
For examples of Mark's work please visit www.maxxart.co.uk
Exhibition dates Friday 13th October 2006 - Sunday 19th November 2006 Open daily 12pm - 4pm . For directions please visit http://www.artsdepot.co.uk