In the hope of glimpsing a certain image of a place, a landscape that is internal to me but never wholly within my grasp, I have travelled extensively and alone. In recent years, Iceland, mainland Scandinavia and Alaska being the most prescient. The paintings are, in a sense, an excavation of these experiences. The work however is made at a distance from this, filtered by memory. As such the paintings are in part a reconstruction of what I have observed, in part a discovery of the ideal I am searching for.
Landscape however is progressively becoming a vehicle, a place in which to describe my footsteps, my history and fleeting presence. The paintings are often concerned with the border between two states or places - the edge of a village where civilization fades away, the edges of my purpose to walk and find.
Time has become increasingly important in the work, each painting describing particular pockets of time in particular places - the moment before the streetlight flicker to life, the turning point as I reach the edge of a river and can proceed no further. These moment have taken on an increasing significance to my studio practice as the times flood back into focus. The process of remembering the damp earth smells, the feel of the air before it snows, the psychological turning point of my desire to head back from an uncertain road or open doorway, have become fixed in memory. These memories stand as a kind of testament to my own personal narrative - the history of my footsteps up to that point. It is my intention through the work to communicate a little of that history.
Mark Thompson - 2009