b. 1961, Warrington
Lives and works in Powys, Wales
Mark Houghton is interested in everything. Not literally, but in a material and historic sense. Through his sculptures and installations he picks up the 'stuff' around us, the normal, the insignificant, the overlooked, and hands it back to us in some form that feels familiar and intriguing but, somehow, different. There is a relaxed formality to the work, immediately revealing a human intervention, but causing us to question whether this is simply the current point at which this transformation has arrived or if this is now a new permanent state. Mark refers to the '40,000 years of the activity of homo faber' (man, the maker), giving himself our entire history of tinkering, inventing, manipulating and adding to our environment from which to draw. The titles of the works, such as 'King' (2010), 'You Take the Weather With You' (2010), and 'Working Order' (2010), help position them back in to our world on a different level, becoming vehicles for an allusion to a very human place; a shifting of the hierarchy and control from 'man-made object' to objects that surround us and inform how we manoeuvre, as opposed to the other way round. This shift in our perceptions and relationship is key to the work's new function. They serve to, both, highlight and question the volume of the world around us, in all possible meanings of the word, and leave us back in a place where there is genuine wonder in the seemingly mundane.
Each month an artist from WARP will be featured on the website. Past selections are archived here.