Today – a look at recent work by Deano, also called Mark Stewart-Deane. You can come and see his ‘Hauntological Dimensions’ triptych (pictured here) at our Fine Art Summer Show in the old Top Shop, St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen, from 10-17 July 2021.
Other works from his ‘Extraordinary the Disconnect’ series are being shown online at the Carmarthen School of Art 2021 virtual show.
“The themes that underpin his work are concerned with the elusiveness of truth and ingredients of chance that link realism and abstraction to perceptual reality. How questioning truth itself has thrown up more fundamental problems than any useful solutions.”
Perception. Lies. Truth. The unavoidable contamination that is a function of our connectedness, our embeddedness. These are some of the terrains of ideas Mark explores in this work.
We don’t know what we are seeing. The past haunts our vision. We are manipulated and misinformed, and we get confused in the looking.
“He is actually highlighting that for […] rewriting of reality to work, it can be only necessary to sow some doubt or cause confusion.”
Deano’s ‘Hauntological Dimensions’ triptych are mixed-media pieces, using paint over photographic transfers. The photographs were set up using various analogue and pin-hole cameras. They are staged in his own North Pembrokeshire terrain, one which has historical connections to the Napoleonic Wars, and peopled with toy figures dressed in period uniforms. The painted layer brings in colour and thereby emotion; and creates blurring and layering, confusing and complicating what we are seeing.
“His investigations into pinhole photography seem to invoke the past, acknowledging a value in the weight of documentary photographs, often using super wide angles and panoramas to blur the peripheral.”
I am honestly thankful that the Department for Counter Propaganda is open for enquiries, and for Deano’s self-appointment to it, and for his dedication to feeling his way out along the edges of what we think we’re seeing.
(And how inspiring, that Deano has found the courage and the confidence to appoint himself to a necessary role; for if we do not do it, how else will the work be done?).
These are subtle and layered works, and they have repaid me for the time I’ve spent with them. I do encourage you to come and see them in the real.
You’ll find more information about Deano’s work on his website.
[The quotes above are from Deano’s Artist Statement. ]