One Marylebone, 1 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 4AQ
10 Oct - 12 Oct, 11am - 7pm
Hus Gallery is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of work by celebrated leather-artist Mark Evans. The gallery will be taking over the prestigious venue One Marylebone from 10th-12th October to coincide with Frieze Week. The ground floor will be occupied by new explorations in the series ‘Furious Affection, whilst upstairs there will be a selection of other works from series including ‘Born Fighter’ and ‘Death of the Dollar’.
Evans’ unique process of leather etching was one that he discovered by chance and has spent the last twelve years refining. Importing animal hides from all over the world, Evans then undertakes the complex tanning process which allows for the wide tonal range achieved in his works. The artist works with a diverse array of knives which he uses for etching, ranging from a Neolithic flint knife, a Second World War Officer’s knife and a pocket knife that was a childhood gift from his grandfather. Using these in varying combinations, Evans has to employ great precision as he can only remove a fraction of the leather surface to reveal the suede underneath.
Despite the somewhat delicate nature of Evans’ medium, it lends itself well to his preferred subject matter which often explores themes of mortality, power and conflict. His series of ten works entitled ‘Furious Affection’ all depict the menacing jawbone of a great white shark. Evans, however, turns the traditional connotation of the predator on its head; by depicting the jaw upside-down it is shaped like a heart, edged with razor-sharp teeth. Rather than an image of destruction, the artist aims to convey a sense of empowerment to the viewer. The upturning of the aggressive image to create a contrasting motif is representative of how society could make small changes to redefine the balance of power, which is usually given to those who are aggressive and ruthless like the predatory shark.
These are not the only work by the artist to reflect a socio-political commentary. His series ‘Death of the Dollar’ for example, demonstrates disillusionment with modern life and the emphasis which it places on material goods. Evans even goes as far as to equate money with death as well as moral and physical corruption. His work however, does also reflect hope and rebirth in the series ‘Born Fighter’ which juxtaposes predatory animals such as sharks and tigers with more delicate butterflies and moths. These contrasting species all reflect the tenacity of life against all odds.