OIL and WATER Architectural Oils and Watercolours of Domestic Situations


The most recent works from artist and architect Mark Titman are a series of exquisite
observational watercolour and line drawings that depict details of everyday domestic life and are a poignant reflection on the individual’s place within our environment.

Accompanying these works are a series of larger architectural oil studies. Dark and
shadowy, these beautiful pieces by contrast follow a similar reflective theme, although here the subject is less about the individual and more concerned with broader global issues and climate change.

The disarmingly direct representation of the watercolours belie the depth and complexity of the subject matter. ‘Crowd’ for example, portrays the delicious ambiguity of the individual within the collective. At first glance the abstracted figures read as a cohesive group, yet a closer look suggests the void between them. Are the figures empowered by their separation or imprisoned by their isolation?

The domestic drawings take a more sanguine approach to their subject. ‘At Home Grid’ describes the everyday functions of domestic spaces, gridded up as an architect might treat an urban plan. This piece explores ritual within the domestic setting and its relationship to spaces, often overlapping.

All of the works in the exhibition display a precise observational clarity and explore a
preoccupation with people, experience, relationships, space and order, from the small scale to the large issues that shape our lives. These explorational snapshots of life reveal a real depth of understanding of the human predicament.

You will notice in this exhibition two distinctly different mediums and  types of painting. Where do you stand between the oil paintings of  global issues (set on the solid wall to your left) and the smaller intimately themed watercolours opposite exploring the more personal human condition (set on colourful sun-lit glass)?

Tessa Cox
September 2009