Before the written word there were pictures – even cavemen knew how to do a good doodle when necessary. And while we’re more civilised these days, a visual language is still very much present because let’s face it, it’s hard to forget our roots. Artist Mark Whalen is is inspired by indigenous folk art and the way our ancestors used narratives to describe their culture and era. Wanting to explore his own time and place in society, Whalen’s created his own modernised folk art in the form of illustrations that provide a surreal comment on human existence and our current social climate.
It’s an imagined, almost futuristic reality, where his androgynous figures navigate through grids and pastel worlds of painted acrylics, gauche and ink. They’re big old pieces – with some in separate panels –and you want them to be, just so you can take in every detail and every action happening in the pieces.