3 September to 1 October
The artist will be in attendance on 3 September, 1 – 4 p.m.
Works are now on our website and are for sale.
Mark Johnston was born in the North East of England, and spent his childhood by the sea and in the country. Painting took him to the Lake District and then to Brighton University. Three years later after graduating with a B.A. (Hons) degree in Painting he was awarded the Sussex Painting Prize. For the next few years he traveled, lived and painted in Greece, Barcelona and Andalucia, before returning to England. His work is stimulated by nature, landscapes, primitive power, energy and all its connotations of darkness and light. The importance of an improvised and intuitive process opens painting up to a primal purity, a spiritual and uniquely mysterious quality outside of time. Mark says of his work, The smaller canvases, or sometimes boards, are much more intimate though they too can be emotional. I see these as chamber music, to be engaged with at home and close-to, in a limited setting by a limited audience. The larger works, because the larger fields call for more assertive action, can hold their own on a museum wall.
River estuaries give way to calmer vistas….
Ever the poet to bring a person back to earth…
Philip Larkin ‘To the Sea’
Earthy or fiery tones give way to more turquoise hues
Mark Johnston’s deep layered oils are the perfect complement to the infinity of Jaejun Lee’s smooth celadon blue…
Speaking of estuaries and the sea, on the 9th anniversary of the passing of Seamus Heaney, I happened to be at a funeral in the old country at the weekend. This view of the Foyle as it wends its way through the city of Derry, ends at Greencastle on the Inishowen Peninsula, home to the playwright Brian Friel, for whom Heaney composed the poem ‘A Call’.
“Hold on,” she said, “I’ll just run out and get him.
The weather here’s so good, he took the chance
To do a bit of weeding.”
So I saw him
Down on his hands and knees beside the leek rig,
Touching, inspecting, separating one
Stalk from the other, gently pulling up
Everything not tapered, frail and leafless,
Pleased to feel each little weed-root break,
But rueful also . . .
Then found myself listening to
The amplified grave ticking of hall clocks
Where the phone lay unattended in a calm
Of mirror glass and sunstruck pendulums . . .
And found myself then thinking: if it were nowadays,
This is how Death would summon Everyman.
Next thing he spoke and I nearly said I loved him.
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As ever thank you for reading.