15 BYTES  .  .  . giving everyone their fifteen bytes of fame
ARTISTS OF UTAH EZINE                                                                                 April 2002
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archives
MARK ENGLAND: REDEEMING THE
VISUAL WORLD

    I had never met Mark England, the spring morning when photographer Steve Coray and I approached his house in Alpine, Utah.  Though I had seen his work in group and solo shows over the years I had never spoken with him.  Luckily, after a short conversation on the phone a few days before, England had agreed to be interviewed for 15 BYTES. 

The first thing I noticed when we approached his home were the bowling balls. Half-buried in the lawn, they line the walk to his front door. The bowling balls are your first clue.  England is serious about what he does.  His art extends throughout his

entire  environment. At the same time, that seriousness, that devotion to his art, is not afraid of whimsy or a good laugh. 
The art that England makes is intregal to his life.  The house itself, built four years ago by England, is a canvas for his art. Most artists have their art hanging on their walls.  England has it in his nightlights, embedded into walls as display boxes, and even in the form of a canoe, which hangs upside down, in his kitchen.  The house is like one of Englandís collage works, a mixture of diverse objects and images recontextualized by the hand of the artist.
Collage, which England calls "the art of the twentieth century," is the central focus of his work, and graphite his principal medium.
It was the way he had used the deceptively simple tool of a pencil to create large works of expansive beauty that had attracted me to England's art. Intrigued by the visual quality of the works, I had come to Alpine today to better understand how one might ďreadĒ a Mark England.

VISUAL IMAGES FIRST OF ALL
Comfortably seated in England's front room, we began our journey through his art.
AOU: Walk us through the evolution of your work -- how you came to use graphite as your principal medium.
ENGLAND: Iíve always felt this affinity to drawing; partly because it is so viceral and direct and simple and basic and partly because it is a requirement to draw well to do 
anything else well . . . So Iíve always felt that need to at least get  [drawing] down. While I was developing that skill [drawing] I was pursuing other ways of expressing myself in my artwork through collage, both two and three dimensional collage, which I developed while I was in my graduate program.  I pursued both the collage and the drawing simultaneously for a number of years . . . I found that I was torn between what I wanted to develop with my collage work and what I wanted to develop with my drawing and eventually painting.  Because of time constraints . . . I decided I would just focus on one.  I gradually let the three dimensional collage become a minor aspect of my artistic expression . . . Most of my energy has now been devoted to the drawing with graphite as well as now incorporating solvent transfer with my drawings. 
Trial  36"x48"   click photo to enlarge
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also in this edition 

The Gallery at the Center
UAC Grantees at the Rio
Alternative Venue: Cannella's
The Menu at Meats Gallery
Paint Utah in Logan
Gallery Stroll Preview


 

What's Under Your Glass?
The Coaster Project


On Saturday the 9th of March a diverse and international exhibit opened at The Gallery at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Salt Lake City. The exhibit was entitled the International Coaster Project, Destination: The World and was coordinated by the TransCultural Exchange in Boston and brought to Salt Lake City by myself local artist and poet, Shawn Dallas Stradley.

In October of 2001, 100 artists from around the world were invited to participate in The Coaster Project. The requirements were as follows:
to make 100 coasters, approximately 4"x4", intended for exhibition and then use; establish a venue and schedule for exhibition sometime between the 9th of March and the 19th of May, 2002, and then arrange for a local establishment to use and distribute the coasters after the exhibit. 


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15 BYTES and Artists of Utah would like to invite the public to a gathering of artists and art enthusiasts at Lamb's Cafe on Wednesday April 10th at 1:00 pm.  The 15 BYTES editorial board and Artists of Utah volunteer committee has scheduled this time as an opportunity for artists to relax together, eat some wonderful food and get recharged to get back in the studio. RSVP is by no means necessary but will help us reserve enough tables.  Any questions, email us. 15 BYTES is currently being published every six weeks.  The next edition will be posted the third week of May.  Please send submissions by May 12th.