Back to top




Wagner Contemporary | 6 - 21 November 

Explore Sydney Contemporary | 11 - 21 November 

Through a series of large-scale paintings, Mark Hislop's new exhibition reflects the artist's ongoing and focused interest in photography, landscape and botanical life. The literary notion of a ‘chance setting’, where characters adapt to random settings and where the narrative evolves intuitively, is extended by the artist to suggest a place where one might conduct trials, experiments or observations. And, in this case, a space where painting can occur.

Over the last 18-months, during Melbourne’s Lockdowns, Hislop’s personal narrative and story has evolved within the space he has inhabited every day - the space betwixt-and-between his home and studio, which are located at walking distance apart. The forms of garden and neighbourhood plants, along with the culturally informed context of their untamed beauty and growth, ignited inspiration for his new series of work.

Pippa Milne, Senior Curator at Monash Gallery of Art, describes the special significance of the local paths and streets the artist has walked every day:    

"The walk between the two places takes him through the wide streets of Parkville, through North Fitzroy, across some intersections and over some four-lane roads, but also past fence after fence bordering yards and pavement. These suburbs were some of Melbourne’s immigrant neighbourhoods, and the yards would have been tended by men and women in the process of making Australia their home. Their gardens were filled with flowers, shrubbery and fruit trees - netted in springtime and heavy with fruit in summer, softening the straight lines of architecture, concrete paths and fences."

The process of rethinking and re-imagining the familiar into something unfamiliar or unusual has also influenced technique. Painted on the back-side of acrylic sheets, the making of these works reverses the traditional painting process. Working front-to-back in a right-brain, left-brain ‘switcheroo’, Hislop moves from macro to micro observations and back again, activating the acrylic sheet’s screen-like surface and reflective nature to engage the viewer. Chance Settings OK.

Mark Hislop completed a Master of Art at Chelsea School of Art and Design, London, as a recipient of a Samstag International Visual Art Scholarship. He has been awarded grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and was awarded the Helsinki Studio Residency in 2016. His work has been selected for the Rick Amor Drawing Prize, Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize, Paul Guest Prize, Dobell Prize for Drawing, National Works on Paper Award and, most recently, The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (2021).

Watch: Mark Hislop in his studio

Recent News: 

2021: The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Finalist; Explore Sydney Contemporary

2020: Mosman Art Prize, Finalist

2019: Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, Finalist

2019: Cross Art Projects, 'The Essayist' 

2018: National Works on Paper Prize, Finalist, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

2016: National Works on Paper Prize, Finalist, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery