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FROM THE TYNE TO THE THAMES FOR LIFEBOAT ARTIST …

ByDave Stopher

Jun 8, 2023

A leading Tyneside artist and lifeboat skipper is to follow in the footsteps of some of the modern art world’s biggest names after securing a residency at a top London hotel.

Mark Taylor, 43, from North Shields, saw off competition from across the world to win a coveted wild card spot at The Royal Society of Marine Artists annual exhibition last summer.

And he has now been appointed artist in residence at the prestigious London Marriott Hotel Canary Wharf, after his work caught the eye of bosses at the five-star venue.

The father of three’s paintings of the River Tyne and the North Sea have won him a legion of fans, including Sam Fender, Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor and writer Ian le Frenais OBE.

But now he has turned his attention from the Tyne to the Thames to create the 13 mixed media paintings which will launch his London residency on 13 June.

The varying sized canvasses explore the commercial landscape of Canary Wharf through a multi-point perspective and the way in which the buildings are reflected in the ever-changing surface of the Thames.

Using a vibrant colour palette collaged with historic maps of the Isle of Dogs, the art works capture the energy and dynamism of the present financial district while also paying homage to the river-based industries which fuelled the area in times gone by.

“Rivers and water are in my blood,” said Mark, a coxswain with Tynemouth RNLI Lifeboat crew.

“Through my work with RNLI I spend a vast amount of my time on the water and it features in virtually all my paintings,” he said.

“And while London and Tynemouth are very different in a lot of ways, they have one key point of similarity – they each have a river. And those rivers are as central to the lives of the people that live there now as they were hundreds of years ago.”

As part of his residency at the hotel Mark will also give painting demonstrations and he is hopeful that it will introduce his work to an international audience.

“I know that artist Lincoln Townley had a residency here and it absolutely catapulted his career to the next level,” said Mark, “so if my residency is half as successful, I’ll be a very happy man.”

A spokesman for The London Marriott Hotel Canary Wharf, said Mark’s work “elegantly captures the evolution of Canary Wharf and the Docklands, which is rich in history and culture.

“His artistic perspective combines traditional techniques with contemporary themes and materials, which mirror the decades of change from the industrial docks of the 1800s, to a modern urban landscape, while retaining much of its original character.”

He said: “The London Marriott Canary Wharf takes great pride in playing a small part of this history and Mark Taylor’s work resonates with the Hotel’s efforts to tell the remarkable story of the London Docklands and Canary Wharf, through the ages and into the future.”

Mark’s residency launches on 13 June and his work, which is priced on application, can be viewed or purchased either at the hotel or via http://www.marktaylorthecollection.com/ .  He also works to commission.