Mark hails from Huddersfield and indeed grew up with our very own Brian Kinlan!  

Moving on from the days playing DJ in their bedrooms, Mark and Brian have collaborated on several pieces of artwork/writing, including their latest work "Fluidity" which was recently displayed in Kala Sangam, Bradford in the Waters and Rivers Exhibition curated by Brian Lewis.  

We find out a bit more about Mark during our latest interview...

An Interview with Mark Lawrence – 14th January 2014. 


The Unpretentious Arts: We sat today chatting with affiliate artist Mark Lawrence, asking him about his work and what led him to become an artist.  We learned a lot and shared laughter over a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea whilst I scribed his answers to some questions we threw at him.  As Mark does with his artwork, as you read this – enjoy the journey!

I started creating art at school and was about 11 or 12 when I really started enjoying it.  I did more work at home though rather than school – at school it was narrow in the way they wanted you to work, so the freedom of expression really came from pieces you worked on at home. 

I was more inclined to work with found objects, creating installations.  I remember collecting every battery I could, with an installation of batteries running around my room with a lightbulb at the end - most of the time the bulb just exploded as there was too much energy going to it!  So really a science-cross-art at this stage.  I won’t reveal the source of the batteries, but let’s just say we were creative on the Brackenhall Estate! 

I also worked on Go-Carts.  We’d build them but the real fun was in the design.  We had pram wheels and it was trying to make them safe with bits of string and making sure the wheels didn’t sit too high and give your arms friction burn – that really hurt!  But we were always trying to make them look sleek, not just a box on wheels.  Besides the wheels, which we had to get whole, we had to design and make all the other parts. 

So really, we’re looking at an early stage of real design work which later progressed onto more traditional forms of art.  I really like the techniques of any artwork, and working out HOW they work – how to refine different ways of working.  Half the time the result really isn’t the objective, and is often a bit of a surprise!! 

This is particularly true of print design, which is technique-based and you NEVER know what the outcome will be, despite best intentions or an initial idea.  I like the flexibility of it – you don’t need to stick to any particular material, you can add lots of different layers.  If I want a specific image it’s all about the effect of it rather than being technical, so it’s got a real flair about it rather than a clean or clinical result. 

At college I was going to study photography and really enjoyed the process and techniques, especially black and white.  I stopped because of the shift to computerised photography as I found it really quite impersonal and I think you lose the honesty of it. 

At the moment I really do a lot of mixed media – I work in collages, painting, drawing, print – mostly on canvases.  So all the different aspects come together on one finished piece.  I really like a 3D finish – card, paper, clay, wood.  Sometimes I can express more this way than just painting or drawing.  There’s no right or wrong way when you’re working like this – just creativity in its purest form. 

I choose to mix colours rather than use basic palettes and don’t tend to stick to one in particular.  It would depend on the art itself. 

Inspiration for work is everywhere.  If you look closely enough it’s amazing what you can create just by looking at a tree, or a car – you can make an idea out of anything.  It’s about texture and shape – if you’ve got a smooth car, why not have a car made out of feathers?  Take a “normal” thing and change the texture, or shape. 

Through techniques and understanding different methods my work has developed over the years and I’m starting to actually really enjoy it.  Visiting galleries and seeing appreciation for my work is great as you start learning that you’re on the right track.  I want my work now to be out there more, rather than just being appreciated at home! 

I have been working for a while now on stuff about memories and this is my main focus.  There are a couple of works about doors, how many have you passed through to get somewhere before you realise that that wasn’t the route for you.  So there’s thought behind the pieces I create.  People seem to really like what I’ve done with that. 

In the future I see myself creating more art.  I’ve got some more ideas about possessions and have two pieces in progress – what people want, and desire, but they can’t actually see that they’ve already got it.  We live in a really materialistic world where people want everything – the latest thing, the next big thing – and the question is, do we need three houses, or four cars.  Someone said there are more mobiles out there than the population – how and why?!  We can only drive one car at a time.  I think it’s based really on the fact that we’re too busy wanting things rather than thinking what we can actually do, or how we can actually help.  There was a magazine article in Japan where the latest craze was people making things to go with them in their coffins, symbolising what else they wanted – ironically – out of life.  I want people to think about what they have, not what they crave.