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Born and raised in North Shields, 1971, my childhood was filled with happy times; from building tyre swings over streams to doing 'dodgy deals' in bike parts with my friends. Some days I'd play football for so long that I'd hardly have the energy to walk home; arriving back to my dinner plated up and shrivelled to a crisp- my mam would never mind though. Memories of my father working in the shipyards (when they were still running) with other proud hard grafting men also sit clearly in my mind. Sadly all that remains today are 'fading ghosts' of cranes and sheds! Much to the annoyance of my mother I often affectionately compare her to Flo, the long suffering wife of Andy Capp; only the shipyard wives understand what I mean though! Times were tough but at least we had a colour TV.
School was a whole different story. My report cards were witness to my failure to concentrate, with frequent "Mark is a dreamer" comments appearing. My ambition to be an artist was severely dented when a physical brawl with my art teacher led to me being locked in the stores cupboard facing a likely expulsion. In those days it was common to get a clip around the ear from your teachers, but on this occasion I inexcusably and foolishly retaliated, much to the delight of the on-looking teenage crowd. Luckily I was handed a pardon by the warden, however my chances of getting into college were ultimately ruined by this. With a sparse portfolio I was turned down on the spot, which left me feeling dejected. Fortunately I found my way into the world of photography and spent many years plying my trade. I learned many skills that I've been able to transfer over from photography to art. Having an eye for a photo is the same as imagining filling a blank canvas in composition terms.
The last few years have seen me working independently as an artist after finally taking the plunge to 'go it alone.' With determination, hard work and a bit of luck I aim to move my art onto a whole new level personally.