Exhibition explores mysteries of the natural world

Mark and Rebecca Ford
Mark and Rebecca Ford

Mark and Rebecca Ford, from Slindon, will be exhibiting at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery from February 27-March 11 under the title Same but Different: an Exhibition of Painting, Prints and Sculpture.

They say they are fascinated by the history and mystery of the natural world, drawing on ancient traditions and techniques to create surreal woven environmental installations.

Mark been exhibiting within the UK and Europe since 1990. He started art school as a painter and after three years graduated in weaving with found and grown natural materials in the realm of environmental sculpture. When he married English and creative writing graduate Rebecca in 2004, they created Two Circles Design, their working partnership making monumental woven environments for both public and private sectors.

“These surreal installations and ambiguous sculptures encompass a wide range of traditional skills and practices. The woven artworks directly engage with the environment as semi-permanent sculptures based on seeds and plant forms and the potential of all things.”

They both have a strong interest in the archaeology, geography and mystery of the natural world, drawing on ancient traditions and techniques of willow craft and woodland management. They teach workshops from their cottage in Slindon.

Mark is the current organiser of the Arundel Gallery Trail which is now its 30th year and is the current installer of the annual pumpkin mural in Slindon each autumn.

Winners of the 2017 Derek Davis prize for Art, Mark and Rebecca were part of the Labyrinth project for Chichester Cathedral in 2013 and 2017.

Mark said: “Environmental art has the power to change the way we view the world and questions our role within it. Our contemporary woven forms are in conversation with each other. The prints feature site-specific, ephemeral works from the last 15 years.”

The oil paintings in this exhibition are of the yew woodland at Kingley Vale.