Born and raised in North Shields, 1971, Marks childhood was filled with happy times; from building tyre swings over streams to doing 'dodgy deals' in bike parts with his friends.
Some days he'd play football for so long that he'd hardly have the energy to walk home; arriving back to his dinner plated up and shrivelled to a crisp- his mam would never mind though.
Memories of his father working in the shipyards (when they were still running) with other proud hard grafting men also sit clearly in his mind. Sadly all that remains today are 'fading ghosts' of cranes and sheds! Much to the annoyance of his mother Mark often affectionately compares her to Flo, the long suffering wife of Andy Capp; only the shipyard wives understand what that means though!
School was a whole different story. Mark says that his report cards were witnesses to his failure to concentrate, with frequent "Mark is a dreamer" comments appearing. His ambition to be an artist was severely dented when a physical brawl with the art teacher led to him being locked in the stores cupboard facing a likely expulsion. In those days it was common to get a clip around the ear from your teachers, but on that occasion Mark inexcusably and foolishly retaliated, much to the delight of the on-looking teenage crowd. Luckily he was handed a pardon by the warden, however his chances of getting into college were ultimately ruined by this.
With a sparse portfolio he was turned down on the spot, which left him feeling dejected. Fortunately Mark found his way into the world of photography and spent many years plying his trade. Mark says he learned many skills that he has been able to transfer over from photography to art. Having an eye for a photo is the same as imagining filling a blank canvas in composition terms.
The last few years has seen him working independently as an artist after finally taking the plunge to 'go it alone.' With determination, hard work and a bit of luck Mark aims to move his art onto a whole new level.