Mark Mooney is an artist whose practice revolves around the reinterpretation of ancient poems, historical fact, myth and legend, from specific sites and communities.
His artworks are informed by the detailed research of subject, his aim, to retain the spirit and vigor of the original motif.
He said ‘The research helps to create solid abstract conclusions that retains part of the subjects original essence’.
Old castles, religious and industrial sites absorbed most of my concentration in the early years, as I researched my first prints and paintings. The information I collected from this research was enough to inform any stereotypical painting or an abstract subject, though it has to be ‘de-cluttered.’ This means stripping the research to a minimum, but without losing the essence or outline of the original motif.
My first attempts to create a painting from this kind of research were crude and most didn’t make it, as my foot or skip can testify. Though, the artwork did start to improve as my experiments became techniques, giving me the process I now call a multilayered event. The first materials I used to create this cocktail were a mix of cyanotype-print, screen-print and acrylic on canvas.
The first painting to be completed by this method was ‘North. The following paintings Tynedock and Downpour were comprised from different materials. Though these paintings were successful in their own right, there still seemed to miss ‘Ce petit quelque chose’ (that little something). So to strengthen the artwork and give it that poetic stance I introduce found objects into mix, collected from the site or locations I identified as useful.
These found objects helped the painting to reassemble the essence of the original site/location, while still reducing the paintings overall characteristics. Reverberating the spirit of the subject matter if you like, but not its image. This I think gives the paintings a stronger sense of place.
My pallet has progressed over time to include marble dust, paint pigment, gold leaf, lead, bitumen, string, and the found organic material from each location I’ve researched. All the artwork’s unless specified are on canvas.
MOONEY ‘Reality and Myth’ ebook 2012
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