Mark James Minty - 'Somewhere in the Southern Ocean'

Wednesday 5 - Saturday 22 October 2022


"The world I inhabit and depict in my art is made up of fragmented colour, lightness and dark, texture and mark; sometimes working in harmony, at times in competition. My work certainly contains the vestiges of familiar places or an episode in time underscored by a narrative but abstracted, revealing the sense-of-place rather than representing it. History, legends, recent events and even modern conspiracies are alluded to in what appear to be simply abstract pictures. Somewhere in the Southern Ocean emerged from a group of paintings and drawings focused on fictional travel, developing on another theme of childhood fantasy adventures, adventures which exist on the edge of logical explanation now transformed by deeper, more symbolic representation.
These works, made in a challenging and unpredictable period in history when travelling anywhere was prohibited, are about the ultimate childhood dream of travelling into and beyond the unknown. As with any innocent caprice, the works are partly informed by imagery found on electronic media but more greatly by my own imagination and experience; this is how I believe the Southern Ocean to be.
The titles of the paintings are edited sentences taken directly from a diary written on the SY Aurora as it sailed to Antarctica and back to relieve Douglas Mawson’s expedition in 1913. The author, Bert Lincoln, was a young Australian sailor who appears to be relishing adventure by being part of what was not only an historic expedition but also a tragic one. Reading his unpretentious but poignant record of everyday life at sea, unwittingly interspersed by his own opinion and first-hand observation about Mawson’s expedition, moved me tremendously and I saw his words appear in my paintings."

Mark James Minty, September 2022