So as Team Artfinder will attest, I'm not normally one to hunt down the darker side of things, the melancholy, the haunting - but there is something about these monochromatic landscapes and vast, sweeping rooms by British artist Mark Thompson that have really drawn me in.
We have long discussions about what 'quality' means on Artfinder all of the time - and to me quality is as much about emotion as technical skill. Mark's juxtaposition of rooms and landscapes sets up a discussion between the two - when you see them side by side you realise that his rooms feel like landscapes, and that the domestic can hold within it as much drama as a mountain - it's just all about point of view. When I look at them I feel like I'm being asked to look through someone else's eyes and there's a quietness and stillness to that gaze that is different to my own. Like a good story, his work takes me out of myself and let's me see things from someone else's view.
I also love that his work is about abandonment, empty spaces - grand, old, forgotten buildings and remote landscapes that are a world away from bustling 21st century city life. But then through the act of being observed, Mark restores a kind of care and attention to these places. So even though they are bleak, the works are so intimate that they imply intense observation, intense care. To me they say, 'look at this place, really, really look at it - because even though it might look neglected, it is important.'
Mark's artwork descriptions talk a lot about consciousness and memory - about an 'ambiguous interior space, uninhabited yet whole, that is in a state of quiet change.' That is to say that his pieces, to him, are more about people's interactions with space than the space itself. But even at a purely visual level - there is just so much to see in his works, I just want to stare at them forever. Every time I look I see something new. And I want to look for longer.