My primary drive as an artist is to try to make sense of my place in the world. Through the caprices and inconsistencies of memory, I hope to access a kind of collective memory of place.
I do not seek to illustrate a particular place in point of fact, but rather develop and ultimately ‘make‘ a version of the world seen through the isolation of personal memories. The mind/body distinction - the phenomena of the mind seeming to look out at the world from behind the eyes – forms the basis of my attempt to understand and record the world through my own consciousness.
The paintings in particular are works of memory – the slow development or exposure of a photograph being both a useful metaphor and an actuality in my practice. The filter of memory appears to retain only what is personally important, and the inevitable mix of my own history and experience fills in the gaps. Only that which remains is important – the extraneous and fleeting are not registered. The final image is therefore a remnant, the world distilled. This remembered world inevitably fades and decays, and I catch all I can before there is nothing left. This is my starting point.
The long stretches of time needed to make both paintings and photographs, complement the slow filtering process. My preoccupation with making photographs during the last moments of the day, for example, is part of that process; the extended moment – the un-decisive moment – allow the image to become a record of time passing. There is an inherent melancholy in this as each image is something already gone. It is the seeing of things for the last time.
Mark Thompson, 2017