25 July 2008
Outstanding Curtin University of Technology postgraduate art student Mark Parfitt’s unique artistic practice has earned him the highly regarded Galerie Dusseldorf Scholarship, allowing him the opportunity for his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery.
Inspired by mundane, everyday tasks and activities, Marks’s unique works are currently exhibiting at the John Curtin Gallery for dOFa08.
Mark, a recent Master of Art graduate, said he was thrilled to receive the prestigious scholarship.
“I am honoured to receive this scholarship and look forward to producing a body of work for Galerie Dusseldorf,” Mark said.
Ted Snell, Dean of Art at Curtin, commended Mark’s achievement and his commitment to attaining such outstanding work.
“Galerie Dusseldorf is a well recognised gallery that represents many reputable Australian artists. A lot of the previous recipients of this scholarship have gone on to be very successful nationally and internationally,” Professor Snell said.
“This is a huge opportunity for Mark to test himself artistically and critically in a whole new environment.”
Mark describes his work as interdisciplinary and non-media biased.
“If drawing, performance, sculpture, video, digital printing, book making or anything else is appropriate in any combination for my ideas, then I will go with it,” Mark said.
“I consider activity or action as art. I find an everyday task or problem and apply a creative practice to it.
“My work is about ordinary existence, but making it more celebratory, more interesting and fun.”
Mark’s current work, Carlisle Buffalo, is on show at the John Curtin Gallery until 1 August and provides an insight into the inner workings of his mind.
“My front lawn looked dry, patchy and pathetic, so to fix it, I decided to make it the subject of my artistic practice,” Mark said.
“I surveyed my front lawn and chose the worst parts to dig up and place in a custom made wooden box. I transported the boxes to work and looked after them during my coffee and lunch breaks.”
Mark outsourced the boxes to friends and family and they reported back to him on the progress of each plot of grass.
“I collected all the information and used it to document the activity. I finished up producing a book, a performance and a very large installation of the returned lawn boxes,” Mark said.
“Out of twelve boxes I only received a couple that had been well looked after, consequently some were quite embarrassed to see their lawn box on display in an art gallery.”
The Carlisle Buffalo project uncovered quite a few interesting things.
“I became more interested in the normal daily things and friendships that are around me. I became immune to outer pressures and demands from media, politics and commerce,” Mark said.
“The things that matter are right in front of us no matter how insignificant or futile they may be to others.
“The things that interest the individual and the social activities that link humans together end up being the most significant things in life.”
Editor/COS: High resolution photographs of Mark’s current work at the John Curtin Gallery and interview opportunities are available on request.
Modified: 25 July 2008