Microbubbles, Mark Mawson

Mark Mawson

Mark Mawson is a London based advertiser, art photographer and director. His thirty years experience enables him to produce beautifully inspiring images. Mark Mawson specialises in shooting liquids. His colourful series, “Aqueous”, is famous and is held in many private collections. The “Aqueous” video artwork produced in 2012 was projected onto the walls of Buckingham Palace as the backdrop for The Queen’s diamond jubilee concert.


How would you describe digital art?

I guess it’s anything that is created using technology, whether it’s a computer, a tablet, or other forms of technology.

I also think that digital art is an art form that can be projected onto screens. As far as I’m concerned, my photographic work can also be printed, but I use digital cameras, so I guess it’s still digital art in a way.


Aqueous Fluoreau, Mark Mawson

Why did you decide to do digital art? What do you like about the exploration of new media?

I’m not sure I really went in that direction. What I mean is that it was not a conscious decision on my part to start working with digital tools. I think it’s just the way the whole world is evolving and functioning nowadays. Everything around us is digital. So it’s living in a world where digital is so ubiquitous that made me want to work on these issues from the beginning.

Besides, what I really like about digital art is all the movement it allows. Indeed, it was very important for me to breathe life into my work, because the simple idea of an aesthetic work in movement fascinates me. It doesn’t matter if the work I contemplate is radically abstract. It’s not about watching a movie or a story as such. What fascinates me are the forms that move and intermingle in an almost random and hypnotizing way.


What are your tools as a digital artist? What is your technique?

My work is entirely photographic. My tools are therefore mainly cameras, lighting, liquids and computer editing software. So all my work is still photographic based, but then it’s transferred onto computers to be edited and viewed that way.

As far as the camera focus is concerned, I have to update it as the work moves. Indeed, I have to be very precise because most of my work is macro work. It is necessary to know that all the colors that I film are concentrated only on a small dish barely larger than the palm of my hand.  

As far as my technique is concerned, most of the time I put liquids in water and they mix, intermingle and form a stream of colors that flow as all liquids do. It’s very organic, very aesthetic, but most of all it’s very intriguing because you can’t really predict how the work will evolve with the colors. In short, I use colors and light to create an atmosphere, a mood, a feeling.” 


What is your background? Did you follow a specific training?

I always wanted to be a photographer, at least from the age of thirteen. So after high school, I studied photography in Sheffield, England. Initially I wanted to be a photojournalist, so I specialized in this field first and started doing a lot of things very different from what I do now. I worked for newspapers for about eight years. I enjoyed it a lot because I felt like I was illustrating the story every time I found myself in the middle of a breaking news story. But after a while, I wanted to be more creative, more artistic. When you’re a photojournalist, you just photograph what’s in front of you, you don’t really have any control over how you shoot, the lighting for example. 

So I stopped working for newspapers and started to work for magazines, doing fashion and portraiture… But in my head, I always had this idea of liquids. At school, I loved science, especially chemistry. It wasn’t necessarily my strongest subject, but it fascinated me. I think that’s where I got the idea. So I wanted to try it. I did and it was very beautiful. People really liked it, so I decided to specialize in it.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Color and textures are a great source of inspiration for me. Colors because they can blend so well together that they provide an unparalleled aesthetic experience. Textures, because I find that the textures of liquids give off a feeling of softness, especially because of the way the liquids melt into each other. 

My other source of inspiration is everyday life. Just being outside, sitting in a coffee shop, having a drink and watching the world move gives me a lot of ideas. 

Finally, light, whether natural, in photography or painting, also inspires me. I am really inspired by the way some great painters or directors of photography use light in their paintings or films for example.


Describe a particular work/series.

Aqueous Fluoreau, Mark Mawson

Aqueous, Mark Mawson

“The Aqueous series is the series of works that consist of coloring liquids in water. My first aqueous artwork was done in 2004, but I had the idea in my head for a few years before that. In the beginning I was just doing it for fun, painting water and discovering surprising and bright shapes. And then in the end I found that the result was really successful and it also pleased the people I was showing it to. So it was after these first experiences that I specialized in this type of work. 

Kaleidoscope, Mark Mawson