Award-winning artist Mark Ware has created images responding to Exeter Cathedral’s 900 year history and reflecting his altered perception of the world brought about by a stroke in 1996 at the age of 39.
Exeter Cathedral has been the setting and subject for Cathedra 900, Mark’s latest multimedia project funded by Arts Council England. For the past eighteen months Mark has explored the cathedral and interpreted its art and architecture through photography, abstract photomontages, 3D artwork and sound.
“Stroke affects everything I do and how I perceive the world. It influences all my art and it keeps me in the ‘here and now’ because of the physical and mental challenges it presents me with. In addition it has given me a wonderful insight into how the senses work, which in turn inspires the art that I now create.
“My Exeter Cathedral images and abstract photomontages were created in response to the building, particularly to its extraordinary medieval architecture and design, and I hope that they offer a meaningful experience to those who see the work. Cathedra 900 has been a profoundly rewarding project. I’m privileged and honoured to be participating in Exeter Cathedral’s 900 year timeline, contributing to the centuries of artistic activity within its walls.”
During October 2013, as part of Cathedra 900, Mark staged three performances of 900 Years of Light, and event which featured film, readings, music, and the premiere of Mark’s video composition accompanied by specially arranged music performed by internationally acclaimed trumpeter, Crispian Steele-Perkins with Lyric Strings trio.
The video composition brought together Mark’s photography showing details, patterns and architectural shapes, creating illusions of stillness and movement. During the screening of the work, the cathedral appeared to breathe as its vaulted ceiling was cast with slowly changing light, and the live music resonated throughout the building. 3D images on fabric banners hanging on the Cathedral’s columns added an extra dimension to the Cathedral’s architecture when viewed through coloured glasses.
The next phase of Mark’s work includes an exhibition at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in Exeter early in 2014 through Exeter Healthcare Arts. As a taster for Mark’s exhibition, three of his images will be shown as part of a larger exhibition including work by other artists which will be on show from 25 until 25 February 2014.
Mark has been involved with supporting The National Brain Appeal and a number of other charities since having a stroke and his images are now being offered for sale, benefiting charities in the process.
“My family and I have benefited from the work of a number of charities and I wanted to give something back. My art seemed an ideal way to do this, so my work will be sold through a number of charities (including The National Brain Appeal) which will receive 30% of the profits.”