Mark Powell | Artist Interview | Hang-Ten

Hang-Up - Our first memory of you was visiting The Other Art Fair and seeing your booth covered in red dots. We then contacted you immediately after. What's your first memory of Hang-Up?

Mark Powell -The Other Art Fair was a rather fun time and gave me the opportunity to work with you guys. I remember thinking I was a lucky guy when I dropped by the gallery and met Ben. But I think it was Carla that was the one that pointed me out. I dropped by and threw all my drawings on a table and shrugged my shoulders in confusion. It was my entry into an exciting new world.


HU - Can you remember the first piece of artwork you made that solidified your path as an artist? What was it?
 
MP - When I painted a giant mural on the side of a building in Reno with my friend Tim straight out of uni. I thought 'I've made it!' I hadn't of course and haven't yet but it made me realise that I want to.

HU - You'll be creating some new and unseen works for Hang-Ten to which we're very excited about. Can you give us a sneaky insight into what you're working on for the show?

MP - Well I've got myself a nice vintage monopoly game which some kids scribbled on a couple of decades ago. It'll make a nice canvas I think. I'll also be drawing the biggest drawing I've ever done which will be nice if I don't mess it up. Those biros can be tricky fellas.


HU - You're a very talented and prolific artist who is also extremely humble (and likes a beer or two) which is the best thing about working with you. What’s the best thing about working with Hang-Up?

MP - The entire Hang-Up team are a cool bunch and so easy to work with and a lot of fun. Added to the talent that you all have means that the shows put on in the gallery are great and give me a push to do better and they inspire me more.


Above: Mark's first ever solo show at Hang-Up Gallery in 2013 - 'Drawing on History'

HU - There are ten artists displaying in Hang-Ten - all very different in techniques and concepts. If you could collaborate with one artist in the show, who would it be and why?

MP - I think me and Joe Webb could come up with something quite fun. We both play around with history a little.


HU - The last ten years of Hang-Up have been filled with plenty of peaks (and a few troughs that we can now laugh at...!) What's the last ten years been like for Mark Powell? Can you name a few key moments?

 

MP -The last ten years have been interesting. Moving to a warehouse in London one random day from Leeds was the start. The dominoes slowly fell until I met hang up at which point they picked up the pace. Getting away with being a 'professional' artist means I get to create everyday and travel on a whim.


HU - Can you describe a specific work, series, exhibition and/or collaboration you have been most proud of?
 
MP - As you know I'm not overly happy with most drawings. Not because of a lack of confidence or just trying to be 'arty' but I know I can do better. Having said that I do like some of the National Geographic magazine ones and the latest one I did on playing cards. Those things are hard to draw on!


Above: 'Your World A Stage' - Bic biro on antique playing cards

 

HU - We'd have to say a favourite time with Mark Powell was your 'Anthropology' solo show in 2016. Seeing your work evolve and progress from your inaugural show 'Drawing on History' to that level was a proud moment. Can you name your favourite Hang-Up moment?  

MP - I'd agree with the last solo show too. But I also think I'm progressing at a greater pace than before with grander plans and ideas.


Mark Powell's inaugural solo show 'Anthropology' in 2015 - Photo by Chuck Noble

HU - We know this question can sometimes be a cringe for artists, but we're putting together a Hang-Ten playlist and would like your input. What three songs would you like to add?
MP - I love that question. I can't do anything without music. Anything off teen dreams by Sin Fang, Soley and Örvar Smárason but maybe go for the 'Track Tennis'. And the track 'Bitter thoughts' by Why? And finally 'She's Mine' by Alex Cameron.
 
HU -We certainly have a few goals for the next few years - one includes world domination. What's the goal for the next 10 years?
 
MP - Everything.

 

Thank you Mark - Can't wait to see the finished works for the show! 

 

Don't forget to check out Mark's full catalogue.  Watch this space for Powell's Instagram Take Over this Thurs 3 May @Hangupgallery

Ever wanted to ask Mark Powell a question? We are opening up the floor to a Q + A, so email us info@hanguppictures.com and your query and it might make it to the next interview. 

 

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