The Valleys

Mark Youd - "UNIVERSALLY HUMAN"

Last year Southerndown based artist Mark Youd began work on a project inspired by a new model, and a body of work inspired by this sitter resulted. The fruits of that session form his latest exhibition which was unveiled in a Caerphilly gallery this week. 

Mark Youd says he hesitates to call himself a portrait artist in the traditional sense, as his work isn’t generally about specific individuals, but an attempt to describe something universally human. His sitter’s friends and family, indeed the sitter herself, may not recognise the face in front of them but everyone should be able to identify a connection to their own history, traced back as far as the ancient civilisations. 

Mark Youd’s approach is to actively fragment his image by suggesting certain features rather than showing the whole face. Through drawing and re-drawing he abstracts the face to achieve an interesting image which may often be beyond recognition. For his paintings, Mark varies the surface textures building forms which oscillate between the novel and the familiar. The image moves in the viewer’s mind from a pure exploration of paint, into a more clearly understood organic form and into a fragmented human face. New for this exhibition, Mark took the opportunity to experiment with the printmaking techniques of etching. He says “the prints in this show bridge the gap between my initial idea and starting a painting. Drawing allows me to answer compositional questions and is essential for me to understand the line, shape and volume of my subject”

Mark Youd lives and works as an artist in Southerndown. He trained as a draughtsman and, in parallel to a successful career as a designer and technical illustrator, he has developed his personal artistic practice, challenging the traditional approach to portraiture and to painting itself. Since winning first prize in Y Galeri Caerffili’s Open Art Competition in 2016, he has gone on to exhibit and sell his work in London and Cardiff galleries. Mark Youd will be in the gallery 11.00am on Saturday 25th March for a Meet the Artist / Question & Answer session. No need to book… just turn up to find out more about the artist and his work.

Universally Human’ will be on display at Y Galeri, Caerffili from 14 March until 8 April 2017. Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am – 5pm, Free admission.

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