The Agony (resampled)

Stitched Up

Steve Marks

Happy School Project Space

20 May - 7 June 2015

Opening Wednesday 20 May, 6.30-8pm

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Steve is a predominately self taught artist who has been expressing himself visually from a very young age. An educator by profession, he has taken this year to more actively pursue his creative calling. Steve's medium of preference is watercolour, but his choice of medium is driven by the aesthetic demands of the work he is producing. An Abbotsford local, he can often be found late into the night entranced in his work, living purely within his next creation.

The disciplines of science and psychology play a pivotal role in his thinking and ultimately shape his work, complemented by an approach heavily influenced through observation and conferencing with children in their art making (although you won’t find many rainbows and houses in his work). It was while teaching students textiles that he began exploring the use of stitching within his art making.

Stitched Up is an exploration into connections within and between, essentially the threads weaved through the matter as it passes through time and space. The title for the exhibition not only describes the technique involved, but is also a statement about the artist's relationship with his work. Steve has spent a large amount of time since his last group show in incubation, and perhaps procrastination. This exhibition is about him presenting out of that place regardless of the perfectionism that he wrestles with to present himself through his ’stitched up’ efforts.

Shell of a Man, The Ever Evolving Self and Mother and Child
It starts with the self, Steve’s journal pages came alive with the exploration of self as it dissolves through decay and fusion of atoms in the environment. Shell of a Man and The Ever Evolving Self present the idea that the physical body is merely the structure for which our consciousness is referenced within this reality. Colourful and animated while inhabited; cold, empty and decaying when we’ve left. Mother and Child, referencing August Friedrich Schenck’s The Anguish, explores this concept further. The image appears with the funeral progression of crows come to pay their respects and play their role in the cycle of life. The ewe, in a moment of grief, not yet ready to let go.

Towards the Light and Inner Tension
The journey continued into abstract polyform-like creatures existing within an almost cosmic realm. Here the human characteristics were explored through somewhat inanimate structures. Suspended in colourful dust clouds these images embody our desires and struggles.

Projection and Obscure
We end with the fourth dimensional pieces. Here Steve plays with the notion of the spime (the 4th dimensional self) and the connection with past, present and future self as we wind our way through space and time. His technique expanding to stencilling with enamel paints. In these works the technique has moved to become more fully reliant on hand stitching and the forms more recognisably defined.