Following from our post about Select at Marburae Gallery, one of the artists exhibiting, Mark Lloyd has been short listed for the Griffin Prize 2013. We caught up with Mark to ask him about his career and about industry recognition.
You started out as a graffiti artist, how did you progress from there and how did that experience impact on your current work?
Yes I started making art as a graffiti artist in 1984 during the first wave of ‘Hip Hop’ culture to hit the UK. I used to write the name ‘Icon’ and ‘Icon one’ on walls throughout the UK. I filled many sketchbooks with drawings and collected images, and it was these sketchbooks that interested the lecturers when I applied for art school. At art School I studied a BA and then later an MA in fine art. I learned firstly very traditional fine art practice methods and then later more contemporary practice techniques. My work has always been about synthesizing all these various practices to form my own style and methods. I have been labelled as a contemporary artist, meta-modernist, post-post modernist and recently as a nascent artist, I am not sure which, but I am most defiantly not a graffiti artist anymore. However deep within my practice elements of graffiti are still there. For example I use found objects as stencil apparatus, and I still use spray paint and marker pens along with other more traditional and new exciting mediums.
Who or what are your greatest inspirations?
My inspirations and influences are vast and broad from; artists, writers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, performers, philosophers, political figures, and sportsman; far too numerous to mention.
What are the underlying themes that run throughout your work?
Primarily the underlying themes that run through my work are; philosophy- predominantly post modern philosophy, science fictions, science, and conceptions of faith and higher powers both spiritual and technological.
You recently exhibited at the Marburae Gallery in Macclesfield where we saw your work, how did that come about and was it an enjoyable and successful show?
The exhibition at the Marburae Gallery happened in a very organic manner. I heard some good feedback about the Gallery from friends in the area who had visited previous exhibitions, and I started to do some research and really liked the ethos of the gallery’s intentions. Then through the magic of the internet and social media platforms a dialogue began between us and the show just kind of happened. The show was successful and I am honoured to have been part of this exhibition, I am grateful to all at the gallery for their help and support and hard work. The show was also important to me because in a strange way it was a sort of home coming after leaving the area in 2006. Leading on from the Marburae Gallery show I am currently working on an exhibition in central Manchester featuring small paintings and drawings, sometime in 2014.
You are short listed for the 2013 Griffin Art Prize, how important is industry recognition to you?
I am so honoured to be shortlisted for this important award, and excited, and yes industry recognition is very important for me. How is the award important, well what many don’t realise is that behind my artwork there has been years of hard work and sacrifice that has gone into its evolution, development and manifestation. The award would provides one element of validly and affirmation to inspire me to create further brave and ambitious projects.
I believe that my artwork is not only valid and relevant, but important culturally and in the post-postmodern world of unlimited hubristic technology, my work questions the future possibilities and catastrophes that it promises.