Wednesday, 02 September 2015

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Artist nominated for prize

Carlisle artist Mark Gibbs has been shortlisted for the Wildlife Artist of the Year award for his sculpture Migrating Spirit.

‘Bursting into your space’: Mark Gibbs’ Migrating Spirit which has been nominated for the Wildlife Artist of the Year award

By Rosalind Gibb

The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced on Monday and the shortlisted works of art will be exhibited at the Mall Gallery, near Trafalgar Square, for one week.

Mark graduated from Cumbria College of Art in 1998 with first class honours and has exhibited nationally and internationally.

He paints landscapes and makes sculptures of animals, but says he is difficult to pigeonhole.

“My paintings are textured and I paint sculptures. I like blurring the boundaries,” he explains. “If you have a painting in a frame it merges the painting with the room so it fits in with the decor, but I don’t want the painting to fit in. I want it to burst into your space.”

Mark, who lives near Brampton, works as a learning support assistant at Trinity School by day then heads to his studio, in the Enterprise Centre on James Street, at night.

“It’s very demanding surviving as a professional artist but I like to keep things moving and I’ve always got several pieces on the go. “I want to get my art out there. For me it only exists when it’s on someone else’s wall, they bring their own story to it.”

So far his intricate sculptures have been small in size, and while he would like to move onto something bigger he says he has to keep his creative ambition rooted in the real world.

“I’d like to make something big... a showstopper, like a life-size bison. But if I make it and it doesn’t sell, where would it go?

“I’ve got to compromise between a zany dream of doing something stunning, and the practicality of it.”



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