See SONG of the BIRTH of the STARS on exhibit
at ART IN the ORCHARD
Artists Celebration
Sunday, October 18, 2015 noon - 4pm

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Mark Fenwick Artist Statement


I do as I did when I was ten. I go into the woods, find a stick...though now a log... and take it home to carve.

I cut firewood too, to keep warm in these Northeast winters. But I'm still a specialized logger, a forester on the look-out for wood with a particular bend to it; something that calls to me, a blemish-free tree on which to imprint my image, sometimes with - sometimes without - treeishness.
Born to a family with shipbuilding ancestry in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I dropped out of school and apprenticed myself to ship carvers. Tried and failed, to fence the world out. Educated myself with visits to the Natural History Museum and museums of modern art. Bones and banshees followed me home. Polynesian art had me chopping out my own Rapa-Nui. These trips often sent me out to the backwoods with my little axe. So did listening to music. I've a long history of making silent musical instruments. They produce a lot of noise. Of course ideas make even more racket.

My personal odyssey as an artist carried me in the tumultuous 60's to a hill commune in Vermont. We grew our own food, dug our own well (using an ancient Egyptian method), and shared a 2-holer outhouse. We seldom ate meat, but if we did, it was from animals we raised. And we created a lot of art. The Monteverdi Artists Collaborative, aka Total Loss Farm, was home to energetic and talented souls. We mounted outdoor theater productions, real spectacles, in the summers during the late 70's and 80's for which I was fortunate to have the opportunity to design and build the sets. One production, "The Tempest," was documented in "The Stuff of Dreams," by Emmy-award winning filmmaker John Scagliotti and Alan & Susan Dater. In the mid 80's the siren Redwoods & Douglas Firs called, and I answered. In California, my woodworking tools massaged wood both hard as flint and soft as butter until the allure of home and Portsmouth drew me back East.

After years on the road I've returned to The Monteverdi Artists Collaborative and my studio Knuckleburg, begun in the eighties but never finished. Here in the hills above Brattleboro, Vermont, there is abundance of blank canvas and space to shape it in. Over the years my work has been exhibited in universities and private collections. It can be seen on Google earth...and here, now, at Knuckleburg where I can display it free from constraints of commercialism.