Mark graduated in 1980 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and after completing his post graduate travelled to Egypt to study tomb art.
For six months he traveled the length of the Nile making detailed drawings of tomb chambers – “people, dead for more than four thousand years, danced across the sandstone walls.” He was inspired by the extraordinary visual rhythm of the paintings and was especially interested in the way the Egyptians depicted the creatures of air, river and desert.
Mark is an artist not an archaeologist, however he applies a meticulous regard for material evidence and archaeological knowledge in his work. Over the next twenty years he returned to Egypt many times to study the ancient monuments, making drawings, paintings, photos and observational notes.
“Unlike western art, the empty canvas (or wall), was not a space in which to create illusions, but rather a surface on which to present magical diagrams. For the Egyptians the aim was to accurately convey the information needed for a successful transition into the next life. Thus, objects were depicted by their most characteristic aspects. Crocodiles, for instance, are always drawn in profile, while lizards are shown from above. This is due to the obvious difference in the animal’s size and the angle from which they would normally be viewed.”
Mark occasionally traveled further south into East Africa on painting expeditions and between 1985 and 1995 he created a large body of work depicting African wildlife but using ancient Egyptian artistic conventions in their compositions. These drawings, etchings and paintings were exhibited all over the world and many now reside in international public and private collections. His wildlife etchings have also been acquired by luminaries such as Virginia McKenna, Margaret Thatcher, Nigel Mansell and Patty Clapton.
In 1995 Mark began a series of artistic experiments using computers and within a few months was working with Future Publishing making cover illustrations and writing articles for their various computer magazines. It was during this year that Mark became fascinated with the potential of the World Wide Web, which at the time was just getting under way.
He wrote a monthly column for Web Masters magazine and by the end of 1995 was offered the job of Art Director for an American Dot Com company.
During the Dot Com boom of the 90’s Mark joined a small band of Brits who worked in the USA developing the World Wide Web. By 2000 Mark was Global Art Director for an international Dot Com company developing software for Warner Brothers, Lucas Arts and all the major printer companies. He was simultaneously running computer art departments in London and Minneapolis..
After ten years in the industry travelling the world, Mark returned to his own work and interest in ancient Egypt. He founded Eyelid Productions, which specialises in Computer Generated Illustration, mobile app development for iPhone and iPad as well as R&D for IT start ups.
Over the past seven years Mark has designed and illustrated for companies and museums around the world, written and illustrated two books ‘Imagining Egypt’ (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers) and ‘Ancient Egyptian Anecdotes’, illustrated Peter Ackroyd’s ‘Kingdom of the Dead’ and ‘Egyptorium’ (Dorling Kindersley), ‘EgyptWorld’ (Carlton Publishing) and has just finished a book on the Vikings.