Monday, 15 February 2010

Mark Nicholas Edward

Morning everyone
I promised to show you more about how the amazing "Wall of Fish" by genius Mark Nicholas Edward came about. I thought you would find the following "never been seen before" footage fascinating, and it's nice to be able to share with you the whole process.
First of all it's only fair to point out that "Wall of Fish" is the affectionate, collective name I've given to Marks 20 little painitngs. Each unique little painitng has it's own special title depending on which series it's in. My personal favourites (but only just) being "Fairy Tales I,II,III,IV", "It's The Little Things I, II,III,IV" and wonderful "Adventures in Quantum Theory I,II,III,IV".
In the beginning:

Mark gets his canvasses primed and ready for action:

Much of December and the whole of January saw Mark chained to his studio. I apologise to friends and loved ones.Getting there:
The above is a good example of the layering process that goes into Marks works. All the canvases are at different stages and it shows that Mark had to be pretty organised and in control to pull off a task of this proportion.

Mark must have felt some relief at getting those ones out the way. I have mentioned the black backgrounds in Mark's work before as being notoriously difficult to get to look so slick. One speck of dust in the wrong place and all that hard work is ruiend. Again, the nail biting process is intensified whilst working on such a tight scale: there's absolutely no room for error in any area - composition, brushwork and paint application, and annoying things like dirt and hairs.
I like the next images too.This is my kind of studio.... filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful paints, lotions and potions. You can just about feel the energy and creativity pumping in this work place.:

All those chemicals and vapours probably gave Mark's lungs a bit of a hammering though. I do believe that his eyesight is almost recovered will see what I mean.

"Wall of Fish" is installed and looking spectacular:

Hoping the next image will give you a better idea of the painstaking detail involved here.

Believe it or not, even though the fish are smaller than a one pence piece you can actually see the scales on them. Now that's unbelievable!
I also have to say that there was a slight risk that Mark could get "burn out" with producing the sheer number he did. 20 is a tall order and in this tiny scale even more intensive, but at no point is there any evidence of repetitiveness creeping in. Every single piece has been executed with utter care, devotion and the determination that each piece will be special: I have nothing but respect and admiration for this. In fact, Mark did this so effectively that people found trying to choose their favourite (me included) almost impossible. As John and Lillian disovered:

Another look at "Wall of Fish" by Mark Nicholas Edward.

And I thought I would end by showing you this little guy:

With a face only it's mother could love, The Australian Blob Fish recently made the news as it's numbers are plumetting. Blob is not prized for his good looks or tasty meat but is suffering as the fish keeps being caught up in fishing nets used to capture the good looking guys. I do actually feel for the plight of poor old blobby but yikes.....I know what I'd rather have on my walls!

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