During his Visiting Artist Residency at Open Studio in 2011, Bell created a series of aquatint prints based on photographs from newspapers which distilled the current state of the world into a cross section of three images. The results of a drone strike in the Middle East, the Vancouver hockey riots and an image of the White House war room have all emerged as images in Bell’s description of the world at large. Despite attempts at accuracy, there are inevitable imperfections inherent in the translation process; imperfections that are a result of allowing the etching process to dictate as much as possible the outcome of the final image.
Mark Crofton Bell completed his undergraduate studies at OCAD University and received his Masters of Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art in London, UK. He has exhibited extensively across Canada and internationally in artist run centres and galleries including solo exhibitions at The Art Gallery of Ontario and Mercer Union. The process of transforming photography into painting is one of Bell’s primary concerns. He collects images from a variety of sources, which function as a kind of notebook of personal observation. These photographs act as a starting point for his work and what begins as copying soon becomes interpretation. Eventually the photograph is abandoned altogether as the artist tries to resolve the work in terms of what each composition requires.