Mark Tweedie

VAULT meets painter Mark Tweedie, whose practice mines other people’s photographs for the memories they contain.

written by Jane O’Sullivan NOV 2019

Mark Tweedie’s paintings mimic the nature of memory. He works from photographs, often focusing on figures in the domestic environment, however, his attention drifts. Some details are hazy or faded, while others are worked up in bright colours or impasto. It is intensely personal work, recording Tweedie’s own emotional responses to an image, but the works also deal with broader issues of family, ageing and relationships.

The West Australian painter was recently highly commended in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize for a haunting work titled A dream like this is hard to wake from #2 (2018). His work has also been recognised in the Blake and Kilgour prizes, and was shortlisted for the Doug Moran Portrait Prize.

His recent solo exhibition, I remember you (2019), looked at childhood, and how we are unable to hold onto very early memories. Running deep beneath these works are questions about selfhood and subjectivity: who we are, and how our experiences shape us, even when we can’t remember them.

Your highly commended work in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize spoke about intimacy and distance, banality and romance – these opposing states – all at once. How did that work develop?
That work, A dream like this is hard to wake from #2, I made in 2018. It began from an old Polaroid that had been on my studio wall for about two years before I was ready to paint it. I use a lot of old photographs in my arts practice, either my own photos or I ask my friends – in this case, one of my really

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Govett Brewster MCA Metro Roslyn Oxley Gallery NGA AGSA