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Mark Forbes

Mark Forbes - Pantone Steps.jpg

Mark Forbes. Pantone steps, CType Lustre Photographic prints, 2019.

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What's your relationship to Kingston? 

A local documentary photographer and artist, who photographs using traditional film cameras from time to time in the Kingston area. He recently won the 2020 Optika Photographic Award.

artist medium

Film photography.

Describe your art or craft practice in a few sentences

Mark Forbes is best known for his considered and atmospheric documentary photography of street scenes, urban landscapes and structures. He employs film as his medium of choice for personal documentary work - using predominantly traditional medium format cameras. Forbes' approach to photography comes from an underlying fascination with people and their interaction with the environment. He has an uncanny knack of capturing the layers of beauty that exist everywhere around us. "I am an avid people watcher. When I'm out in the street, or even just day to day, I'm constantly seeing beautiful and interesting images and stories in my head.”

Artist bio 

Forbes' photographs have been exhibited throughout Australia at both commercial and public galleries, including the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Perth Centre for Photography, Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie, Caloundra Regional Gallery, Bayside Gallery, Victorian Archive Gallery and the Stanley Street Gallery. He was the winner of The Gomma Grant 2019 for the Best Colour Photograph, the winner of the OptiKA Photographic Award 2020 and has been a finalist in many renowned Art Prizes including the Blake Prize, Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art, CLIP Award, the Lake Art Prize, Photo Lucida Critical Mass and the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize (semi finalist).

How can the public support your arts group?

I sell limited edition, numbered and signed, archival quality fine art prints of portfolio work. I am also available as a local freelance photographer for commercial or private photo requirements.

do you have a favourite artist or artwork?

Inspiration comes from many well known  international and Australian photographers including: Trent Parke, Gregory Crewdson, Todd Hido, William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Harry Gruyaert - to name a few.

what was your first experience of art?

My first real memory of photography came from a photograph that my Dad took of Sydney harbour in the afternoon sunset. It was printed large and hung on our wall.

How has the current situation changed your approach to making art and running your arts group?

As I have not been able to get out and photograph as much as usual since the start of lock down earlier in the year, I’ve been working on compiling my first book. Hoping that this will be published at some point in 2021. I’ve also spent some time applying to and have been very fortunate to be a finalist in a number of art prize exhibitions in 2020-21.

What motivates your creative business or arts group? 

I am motivated by looking for the beauty in the ordinary, and finding a sense of interest in scenes or spaces that most people may overlook. 

What are you looking forward to after the pandemic? 

Getting out more with my camera, including overseas travel again!