Walking the Stone, a solo exhibition of work by renowned abstract artist Mark Surridge at Tremenheere Gallery at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens Cornwall in collaboration with Coates and Scarry opens in August.
Walking the Stone references and takes its inspiration from ancient sites in Cornwall, either in the form of megalithic structures or solitary monolithic stones positioned in the Cornish landscape. Throughout his career Surridge has explored the mystery of these landscapes, with recent work culminating in this lyrical exploration of Cornwall’s’ legendary sites.
Surridge’s signature abstract approach finds a new layer of lyricism and depth with this new body of work, drawing on both his extensive back catalogue of abstract work and a newer levity with colour. The finished paintings are a distillation of his experience, searching for aspects of emptiness, calm and simplicity, hovering somewhere between abstraction and figuration. Walking these ancient locations, Surridge uses GPS to map his whereabouts, and imagines the shapes his walks might create from start to finish, combining the modern technology with ancient monuments, purist abstraction with mystical landscape. The ancient sites visible in the works are overlaid with urban gestural elements or lines that appear almost as graffiti mark making on the painterly surface.
Surridge is based in Cornwall where he lives in a converted Chapel in Crelly and works in Helston where he has a studio at the renowned Cornubian Arts & Science Trust (CAST).
Tom Heale of Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens says: “Mark was one of the very first artists to take part in Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens’ artist residency programme in 2015. Since then we have continued to follow Mark’s career and we have come full circle to have his solo exhibition at Tremenheere Gallery. We are thrilled to showcase this wonderful, poignant and relevant body of work as part our summer programme.”
Mark Surridge was born in 1963 and grew up in London. He has taught in various institutions nationally and has held teaching posts at Falmouth University from 1997 to 2017. The painting Storm Glow was shown in the Tate St. Ives exhibition 'Art Now Cornwall' in 2007, confirming his artistic reputation. Landscape and the elemental forces of nature have been major inspirations in his work, resulting in ambitious large scale paintings, construction paintings, sculpture, installation and print making. In 2018 he was selected for The Waiheke Art Residency in New Zealand where he spent three months making work which featured in a solo exhibition at The Waiheke Community Art Gallery.
The artist’s work across his career has been described by Susan Daniel-McElroy, former Director, Tate, St.Ives:
Surridge revels in the tone, texture and improvisational malleability of paint and carborundum, searching for the principles of emptiness, calm, simplicity and chance in order to establish an inner tension in his compositions.