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australian artist Mark Threadgold

::: bio/statement
::: contemporary paintings
::: artist interview

"I wouldn't like to forecast what my art should look like in 10 years because predictability is boring. I do, however, want to continue creating opportunities for myself that will broaden the audience of my work."
Mark Threadgold

australian artist Contemporary Australian Art Works

Mark Threadgold

Mark Threadgold Artist Interview - December 2006

+1 ::: Why are you an artist Mark?

From a young age I've felt compelled to make images that communicate my opinions and feelings on a range of issues, from personal matters to topics that relate to us all. I thrive on realizing the challenges I set myself artistically.

+2 ::: Could you tell us about your recent paintings?

My current work addresses mortality, the affect of time, and our inclination to involve routine in our daily lives - whether it be a conscious decision or an accidental pattern that just develops, routine exists in most of our lives. For some, routine may be rigorous, performing the same actions or duties with little variation from day to day. It may be self-imposed, with the intention of gaining comfort by surrounding ourselves with familiar places, people and habits. Sometimes we find ourselves performing similar tasks over and over without the choice of doing so, for example, when we are at work. For others routine is synonymous with boredom and so the act of repetition may be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. For most of us however, we find ourselves bound to live our lives with some type of underlying structure as the world simultaneously progresses and decays around us. Regardless of our differences in beliefs and the way we live our lives, we all attempt to define a purpose of existence and prolong our mortality.

I'm currently working on a series of still life paintings. Using a diptych format, I paint an almost identical image of common objects on each canvas. The objects are carefully chosen for their capacity to form an allegorical narrative. The two images represent a different timeframe. The difference in time may be years, days, hours, or perhaps just moments apart and can be ultimately determined by the viewer. The subtle shift in content from one canvas with the next encourages curious inspection and tempts the viewer to discover variations of subject matter.

+3 ::: Could you explain why you use text in some of your work, and how you use it?

I first used text in a series of paintings I completed in 2003. The paintings, also in diptych format, depict an image of a real location on one canvas with text describing how to get to that location from a specific place on the other side of the world, on the other canvas. The text describes in detail how to navigate, using public transport mostly, from one side of the world to the other. The directions are surprisingly short, illustrating how small our world really is and the relative simplicity and accessibility of travel today. The paintings also deal with the subject of globalization and the ease of international transactions.

Most recently I've been using text differently, simple 'one liners' are incorporated in a series of abstracts. They're intended to be fun and counteract the more serious nature of my still life series of paintings I'm currently working on.

+4 ::: What artists have influenced you, and how?

Gerhard Richter - for his commitment to push the medium of paint to its limits.
Francis Bacon - not afraid of the dark, disturbed and distorted.
Caravaggio - for his murderous competitiveness and use of chiaroscuro.
Dutch Still Life Painting - for the use of symbology to communicate meanings and beautiful use of light.
Damien Hirst and Co - for his take on death and his ability to pull a crowd.
Richard Prince - for his sense of humor.

+5 ::: What inspires you to paint and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio?

I feel I owe it to myself to paint. An inner drive exists that makes painting a priority for me. When things get tough I take 'drastic measures' with my painting and then rest when things are okay again. If I don't feel like painting some days - I don't! Natural motivation always seems to return.

+6 ::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I wouldn't like to forecast what my art should look like in 10 years because predictability is boring. I do, however, want to continue creating opportunities for myself that will broaden the audience of my work. I want to be as inspired and enthusiastic as I am now to make art.

+7 ::: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

Unlike many vocations being an artist means having the potential to work throughout a lifetime and continually develop. Being in my late twenties, I'm an emerging artist and in the context of a lifetime, just starting out myself. My advice to those with ambitions of being an artist, I think self-belief, determination and endurance are essential. Success won't just happen so being an artist requires commitment. Having a good knowledge of art history and keeping in touch with the contemporary art scene helps an artist to contextualize their work and then push their own boundaries to strive for originality. Knowing your craft and being prepared to experiment helps too.

More artist information can be found at the website of the artist.. Mark Threadgold
View more artist interviews at here.. Art Interviews

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