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Mark Powell

Mark Powell


I was born in 1983 in Melbourne, Australia. My first memorable encounter with art was when I was roughly eleven years old. Dragged by my parents to the National Gallery of New South Wales, I recall seeing something astonishing. The late works of Australian Surrealist maestro James Gleeson. These strange biomorphic landscapes made sense to me, they were familiar, they sunk into my subconscious, reemerging when I began my first serious drawings at eighteen.

Other familiar landscapes informed my early drawings also, those of Giger and Beksinski, Bellmer and Dali, reaching back to the medieval apocalypses of Bosch and Brueghel. There, I discovered a long line of artist who have depicted their own version of this familiar landscape. It is possible that this landscape is what Stanislav Grof classified as belonging to the second 'Birth perinatal matrix'. A collection of images belonging to the collective unconscious that are connected to the violence and trauma of birth.

In an attempt to expand my own depictions of this terrain I oved logically from drawing to painting but became frustrated by the process of trying to conjure an illusion in two dimensions. I needed the immediacy and tangibility of sculpture while still maintaining the illusionistic properties of painting. I thus developed the diorama which is the main focus of my work at present.

My dioramas will continue to grow and evolve. They will always exist in their own universe, behind glass, subject to their own laws and without any regard or respect for the narcissistic trends of the contemporary art world. I recall saying that I would like my works to have the same affect as watching a swarm of ants devouring an overturned beetle, perverse fascination mixed with revulsion and black humor, all happening down on the micro level, beckoning the viewer down into the dirt...

Mark Powell

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