Mark Tweedie

Photography by Jessica Eva

There is a stillness in Mark Tweedie’s paintings. He paints thinly, using muted colour and a restricted range of imagery. Currently he is painting family photographs, and in recent years the work has become, “even more personal – I didn’t think it was possible. I seem to be deciphering the past, particularly the early years”. His series of brides, titled A cautionary tale 2018, are paintings of a family member on her wedding day, inspired by an old Super 8 film. They are studies in light and dark; the bride’s face is hidden, and the composition confines her within its darkness.

A residency in the Pilbara during 2017 generated landscapes that are freer in execution, and more open. While the paint remains thin and the palette is restricted, Michael’s fire 2017 includes, in the foreground, a horizontal band of blue with a lip of luscious thickness. In the distant fire on the horizon, multiple plumes of smoke darken the sky evocatively, highlighting the drama of this landscape, its emotional resonance, and its historical change.

Recent career highlights include being named a finalist in the Darling Portrait Prize (2024), John Stringer Prize (2020) and the Sunshine Coast Art Prize (2019, 2022). Tweedie was the inaugural winner of the 2016 Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize at the Art Gallery of Western Australia’s Black Swan Prize, and also a finalist in the 65th Blake Prize (2018) and the Kilgour Prize (2014, 2017, 2018, 2021). He has undertaken a number of regional residencies in the last few years including to Glaziers Bay, Tasmania (2018) and the Pilbara region in Western Australia (2019).

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