Mark Raggett

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AbereithiArfordir coastPen Maen DewiTowards Ramsey
Abereithi

Abereithi

Arfordir coast

Arfordir Coast

Pen Maen Dewi

Pen Maen Dewi

Towards Ramsey

Towards Ramsey

Solva born Mark Raggett is better known as Art Director of the films, '1984', 'The Madness of King George', 'Portrait of a Lady', 'Shakespeare in Love', 'The Hours', 'Miss Potter', 'Closer', 'Notes on a Scandal', and 'The Edge of Love'.

He started to paint whilst at school in the county where he was encouraged by his art teacher, Ron Lowe.   Another strong influence and help at this time was the painter Graham Sutherland who was still visiting Pembrokeshire to paint during the early 1970's. Mark progressed to study Fine Art at Reading University (1972 - 1976) where he was heavily influenced by the Cornish painters (Terry Frost was a visiting tutor at the time).

Mark returns to Pembrokeshire as often as possible, taking long walks on the coastal path, soaking up the atmosphere, especially in early spring and late summer when the sun is casting long shadows.

"The Pembrokeshire coastline is a constant source of inspiration in my work. Living and working in London, it's refreshing and rejuvenating to return to the county from the claustrophobic urban environment to the vast expanses of sea and sky. There's such a wealth of visual stimulation in the rock formations, the dramatic contours of the land and varied textures and colour of the vegetation", he said.

On his walks, he records his experiences in small sketch books, using mainly pen and ink and graphite; he returns to his 'visual diary' often, sometimes after many years as inspiration for new work.

He continued, "When I return to the studio I don't dwell on the sketches or the many photographs I take, they are merely a germ of an idea. I use them as an 'aide memoire', not as images to be reproduced on canvas."

Applying the paint in a gestural way and using varied brushstrokes to evoke a feeling of place he moves the elements around the canvas, exaggerating and varying the colour palette.  He also uses evocative patterns and textures which he cuts from magazines.

"I aim to create a more substantial 'whole'. Quite often the work will appear totally abstract but there's always a figurative element somewhere to be found.  Something to latch on to and hopefully, the work will trigger a similar response in the viewer as I had in creating the image" he concluded.