Between worlds, the journey
To live here in the Aude between the high peaks of the Pyrenees and a windswept Mediterranean shore is to feel poised between two worlds.
I want to celebrate the enchantment of this place. My creative journey starts in a flowing watercolour style in direct response to the natural landscape but then moves on to bring that style to work on more mediated large canvases completed in the studio.
Nearly all the work in this show began life in front of particular places and at distinctive times of the year, many within walking distance of my studio in Pauligne. Here is my celebration of arid scrub escarpments and the geometric lines of the vines in this landscape so re-fashioned by human toil.
This sense of humanity in the landscape then led me to explore an apparently unlikely conjunction of railway and religious themes. I travel frequently by train to my teaching work and looking out of the carriage window on a private park near Castelnaudary, remembering frescoes by Giotto and Masaccio, I became lost in a vision of Eden and our mythical banishment from paradise. It struck me too that the moving world seen from the carriage window seemed a ready metaphor for the passage of time and the fleeting moments that form our lives, or the sense of all that passes.
Then there are the signs and traces of our grim histories. When faced with the physical reality of Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt famously wrote of the “banality of evil”. That banality finds a poignant monument in the cattle truck at Bram station on the line to Toulouse, commemorating the quiet horror of the deportation of the Jews from here to Auschwitz. The focus of such horror in the seemingly everyday presence of a railway artefact inspired my painting The Massacre of the Innocents.
Even when we feel still we are always in motion. The world unfolds before us as we travel on, easily closed in and self-focused on our journey, but united by our common origins and destiny, not passengers but more or less distant brothers and sisters.
Mark Brasington was born in London in 1957. He studied Fine Art and the History of Art at Canterbury College of Art in England where we graduated in 1979.
He spent the following 20 years living and working as an artist in Italy. He now lives near Carcassonne in the South of France where he has established a painting studio.
He also teaches at the University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.
Paintings in public collections
Sous Préfecture, Ambert, France
Comune di Volterra, Italy
Via Crucis Convento di San Girolamo, Volterra, Italy
Comune di Pomarance, Italy
Mairie de Villedubert, Aude, France
1981 Caius College Gallery, Cambridge, England
1982 Galleria Boccaccio, Certaldo, Italy
1983 Drew Gallery, Canterbury, England
1984 Galleria A+A, Florence, Italy
1985 Canterbury Festival, England
1986 Palazzo Dei Priori, Volterra, Italy
1989 Via Crucis Drew Gallery and St Peter’s Church, Canterbury, England
1991 The British Institute of Florence, Italy
1993 Le Porte della Città di Volterra Drew Gallery, Canterbury, England
1994 Il Cammino Chiesa di Sant’Antonio d’Abate,Volterra, Italy
1995 La Navigazione Palazzo dei Priori, Volterra, Italy
1996 Avvistamenti Palazzo dei Priori, Volterra, Italy
1997 Água Santi Battistero di Volterra, Italy
1998 La Mairie, Ambert, France
1999 Aquarelles Moulin Richard de Bas, Ambert, France
2000 Chapelle Saint Dominique, Mende, France
2000 Navigatio Sancti Brandani Pinacoteca di Volterra, Italy
2001 Navigatio Sancti Brandani Moulin Richard de Bas, Ambert, France
2004 Abbaye de Caunes Minervois, France
2007 Espace Gibert, Lezignan Corbières, France
2007 Pinacoteca di Volterra, Italy
2009 Paraty, Brazil
2009 Universty of Toulouse
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