Mark Barnett is an artist who was born in, Cambridge, England in 1995. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh, College of Art, with a bachelor’s degree (with honours) in fine art painting in 2018. Sometime hereafter, he extensively travelled and later in 2022 completed a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Essex. Now he is currently a practising artist residing back in, Edinburgh, Scotland.
I consider myself to be a contemporary mixed-media painter. My work is an instinctual process that embraces pure materiality and focuses upon the expressionistic gestural impetus of mediums.
Individuals who view abstract expressionistic art often struggle to understand what it means; however, I believe this art is perhaps better comprehended as a kind of visual ‘language’, or more adequately as a sensuous perceptual experience. I also see abstract expressionistic art as playing a role in disclosing our complex capacity to be receptive to sensualities. Moreover, I draw from modern and contemporary art history in order to explore expressive form, mark-making, and composition in my work. And I strive to encapsulate raw emotions unobstructed by conventional landscape or figurative representation.
My work is equally influenced by a substantial theoretical interest in a diverse array of philosophical topics and poetical themes. On the one hand, in philosophy, more specifically, these topics include: ontology, ethics, aesthetics, existentialism, phenomenology, Marxism, psychoanalysis, critical theory, post-structuralism, and environmentalism. On the other hand, in terms of the latter: I seek to instil in my work a poetical sentiment that incites sincere feeling and visceral corporeality. These diverse co-constitutive components thus circulate dynamically throughout the veins of all my artworks.
Furthermore, I propose that one of art’s purposes, in general, is to articulate the uniquely discrete and lived experiences of the individual. In many cases, artists are emphatically dedicated to the systematic and rigorous interrogation of their own experiential sensualities. They may achieve this lived self-expression by virtue of whatever mediums, and or disciplines, they feel is necessary to do so. The exactitude of the creative process usually entails cultivating an indeterminacy that obscures how an artistic work will eventuate. I think of my own work as eliciting a complex series of reactions, thoughts, and emotions, with no necessarily unified and singular narrative, whilst imbued with immanent beauty and life. As such, to me at least, in this manner there is no clearly defined boundary that separates art from life.
Amber Arts Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland from 2018 to 2020.
BTEC (level 3) extended diploma in art and design at Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge, England, 2014.
B.A. (with honours) in fine art painting at the University of Edinburgh, College of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2018.
M.A. in philosophy at the University of Essex, Colchester, England, 2022.
Shortlisted for the Art Solo Award 2018.
‘Art and Design Degree Show’ at Edinburgh University, College of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2018.
‘Rift’ at White Space Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2018.
‘Third Year Art Exhibition’ at Edinburgh Palette: St Margaret’s House, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2017.
‘After the Storm’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2017.
‘Walk this Way’ at West Barns Art, Dunbar, Scotland, 2017.
‘Earth, Landscape, and Ecology’ at Art Scape Gibraltar Point, Toronto, Canada, 2016.
Three months artist residency at Saruya, Fujiyoshida, Japan, 2018.
Three months artist residency at Sachaqa Centro De Arte, tarapoto, Peru, 2017.
Three months artist residency at Art Scape Gibraltar Point, Toronto, Canada, 2016.