Flagstaff Gallery Devonport: November/December Exhibition
Mark Compton – Welcome to the Real World
Preview: Flagstaff Gallery, Friday 23rd November, 6-8pm
After many years working as a fine art screenprinter and production manager, up-and-coming artist Mark Compton has retired the day job and is now a full time artist. His exhibition, Welcome to the Real World, is on at Flagstaff Gallery, Devonport from November 23rd.
His work in the art trade, combined with time at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, opened his eyes to the possibility of pursuing a career as an artist.
Starting out in screenprinting in 1997, Mark began a trade in fine art printing that fuelled his love of imagery. For the next decade he was immersed in shape, colour and composition and worked alongside renowned New Zealand and international artists, creating limited edition screenprints with them.
For this exhibition, ‘Welcome to the Real World’ – the second solo show of his career – Mark has stepped back from the representational approach he’s taken over the last few years, and embraced his roots with more graphic, print-based work. He says the print industry was where he was welcomed into the ‘real world’ himself, and the exhibition explores this phrase both conceptually and in the construction of the pieces. ‘Welcome to the Real World’ aims to pose questions about the place of design and trade in the fine-art world, and attempts to bring a bit of blue collar to the high brow.
“It’s a nice change from my last show,” he says. “In the last exhibition I just loved the irony of how the roughness of industry and innovation can sit so interestingly with the beauty of nature. In this show the beauty and structure of industry shines and stands alone on the gallery walls.”
There’s an easy familiarity about Mark’s work – things you see every day, but expressed in a different way. “I love creating and I love what I do, but at the end of the day happiness is seeing the works going to a new home with someone who enjoys them as much as I do!”
‘Welcome to the Real World’ – Flagstaff Gallery from November 23rd until December 18th. Mark will also be running a screenprinting demo in the gallery on November 24th from 11am-1pm.