Mark Davis

Bleak Outlook

Bleak Outlook explores the structural elements of landscape in its various formations, shapes and undulations that link with nature’s inbuilt time rhythm. The perspectives are varied to induce the feeling of being both within the landscape and looking beyond it: frontal, on the edge, diagonal, horizontal, vertical, angled and aerial. The spaces where the land meets the sea and air are carried forth in relation to the depiction of mountains, various rock formations and geological details. The works are produced within the spirit of Anthropocene, looking at the landscape in relation to human intervention as it stands.

Mark Davis has been a professional practising artist for almost thirty years. In 1979 Mark completed the Art Certificate at Hornsby TAFE College with honours; its program highly recognised for endorsing a more atelier practice approach to painting. He was encouraged to pursue further studies at Alexander Mackie College when he was awarded a scholarship. Instead, due to family and financial pressures, Mark worked in the building industry for much of his working life but always continued to practice as an artist. Mark has been painting full time for the past ten years savouring every moment in the studio. One of his earliest influences was Surrealism entranced by the work of Salvador Dali; theatrical and dramatic in composition and the use of light he has migrated some of those indices into his own way of capturing the landscape. He has also looked to the New York School of American abstractionists such as Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston, for their approach to painting as frenetic energy. Closer to home, Mark studied the work of the great landscape artist Fred Williams tuning into the expansiveness of his landscapes.

Mark states:

“I approach painting as an expression of what I see and perceive to be, whether it’s from memory, imagination and/or a dream, the landscapes are set within the deeper recessions of my mind, linking the past with the present.

I use paint as a vehicle for inciting ideas, that interweave life, memory and landscape into various hues that I can manipulate and work over until I get the exact composition and balance. I relish the feel and look of oil paint; its viscosity and quality heighten my senses in getting into the production zone. I use an impasto technique that is carefully layered and sequential in its rendering, it’s quite an exact process and at times I work within a grid-like pattern akin to the American minimalists.

I have studied closely the Josef Albers Interaction of Colour which revealed for me, the way colour is constantly on the move, with multiple patterns of interactions that appear to be endless. The landscape in its varied formations channels my commitment to making paintings that articulate the meaning of being within and beyond the landscape.”

EDUCATION

1975-79 Diploma of Art, Hornsby TAFE College, NSW

RESIDENCIES

1995 Artist in Residence, Chroma Australia Studios

SELECTED SOLO​ ​EXHIBITIONS​ ​

2019 Bleak Outlook, Fox Galleries, Melbourne
2013 Sound of Colours, Frances Keevil Gallery, Sydney
2011 Across The Shelf, Gadfly Gallery, Perth
2010 Kenthurst Galleries; Palmer Street Gallery, Sydney

SELECTED GROUP​ ​EXHIBITIONS​ ​

2019 On the Edge: Landscapes from the Collection, Macquarie University Art Gallery
2018 Contemporary Gallipoli, Blue Mountains Art and Cultural Centre
2016 Contemporary Gallipoli, Grafton Regional Gallery
2014 Xmas Group Exhibition, Frances Keevil Gallery, Sydney
2014 Fields of Vision: Art and Astronomy, Macquarie University Art Gallery

RESIDENCIES & AWARDS

2012 Finalist, Hawkesbury Art Prize
1997 Finalist, Willoughby Art Prize
1995 Artist in Residence, Chroma Australia Studios, Melbourne

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Chroma Australia; Gainsborough Group Financiers, Sydney; Lend Lease, Macquarie University Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University; Holiday Inn Hotel, Sydney; Jim Cobb Collection and Lowenstein Arts Management.

Full CV