Established in 2008, Hang-Up Gallery specialises in street art prints and over the last eight years has become one of the world’s largest dealers of Banksy prints. Operating from their gallery based in Stoke Newington, East London, Hang-Up exhibits a range of exciting work by both emerging and established artists, seeking the latest creative talent by “artists whom in some way break the mould from the traditional, pushing the boundaries either in terms of their work, their message or both.”
Hang-Up’s current exhibition, Anthropology, sees the intricate biro drawings of Mark Powell displayed en masse in a light, clean environment, showcasing his newest project whilst offering the opportunity to purchase some of his drawn and screen-printed work.
As the title indicates, the theme of this exhibition is that of exploring human society and our cultures, and how these have developed and evolved. Anthropology presents the viewer with an investigative body of work which does just that, reflecting Powell’s recent travels, encounters and experiences.
“I have chosen to use a biro as it is the most common tool I can find which means I can show what can be done with such things.”
Powell’s use of antique papers, documents, maps and other vintage ephemera is an ongoing characteristic of his drawing practice; working directly onto these materials is testament to the artist’s desire to “remind us of the inevitability of time’s passing.” Combining these with biro drawing can arguably be seen to support this idea; Powell points out “no mistake can be made” as each mark is permanent and is therefore a record of time. These signature traits of his work add to its ability to highlight the unstoppable nature of time and the social and cultural changes it brings.
“The canvas I have chosen has a history and a hint of a story, much like the faces that I choose to draw. They complement each other and I hope leads the viewer to wonder, and maybe create, a history for the two.”
Here at Syndicut, we are particularly attracted to Mark Powell’s fine pen and ink drawings due to the extreme care and attention to detail inherent throughout his work. Anthropology marks a slight change of direction in Powell’s practice which, whilst maintaining a focus on portraiture and human life, has now veered towards still life with a particular emphasis on birds, exploring both their aesthetic appearance and physical anatomy.
We highly recommend taking the time to see Mark Powell’s thought-provoking work first hand while you still can. Anthropology at Hang-Up Gallery will run until 10th April 2016 and is the chance to find creative inspiration in the most basic of art materials – the biro!