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Crossing the Dark Season

This exhibition is an exploration through the ‘dark season’ of winter, from late autumn to early spring, in paint, drawing and print, as well as film, music and text. Winter evokes a powerful mood and atmosphere with a deep sense of romance and mystery – a quiet time when the land seems to enter a state of torpor, yet the elements that surround it can be at their most powerful and inspiring. As an artist I have always found winter to be the most productive of the seasons with its constant low sunlight and unique muted palette of colours; the fine tracery of bare trees, frost, snow, rain, flood and gale all combine into an exciting and unpredictable, eventful time, that stimulates the senses and focuses creativity.

For this exhibition I have worked across a range of media, focusing initially of a large body of paintings which form the main visual aspect of this collection. The paintings are fairly loose, and rapidly constructed, with an impressionistic style. Light is often a key feature, with a low sun and build up of atmosphere. I then turned to sound, composing and recording twelve tracks of music, reflecting my feelings for the deep, dark of winter. Alongside the music sits a film, made over the the winter of 2012/13…. This has been combined with the music to create a powerful evocation of the turning year. Both the music and film will be available to buy on CD and DVD during the exhibition.

As a further response to the subject matter I have created a limited edition artists book, containing linocut prints, a poem, and several pen and ink drawings, combined into a handmade volume of just three copies. Each copy comes with a CD of the music and a DVD of the film.

Mark Abdey

Mark has been living and working in Devon as an artist since 1998.  He has held over twenty five exhibitions and sold paintings to collectors from America to India.  Starting as a watercolourist, painting small intense landscapes, over the years he has moved to working in oil and more recently acrylic, allowing a fast spontaneous style that captures the light and atmospheric quality of Dartmoor.

Water and the interaction of light upon it holds a particular fascination, and features in many of his works.  Rivers also have the element of the journey, a new view around each bend, drawing you on, and prove endlessly fascinating material for the artist.  There is a powerful connection to life and our absolute need for water that links us all to this element.  It is also used as a metaphor for life, from birth to death, and forms a profound part of our ancestry.

Over the past few years Mark has been exploring new creative outlets into music, photography, video and writing.  The music in particular has become a major force in his life, with two albums ‘Sea Of Grass’ and ‘The Weather Leaves Its Mark Upon The Land’ already released under his own ‘Riddon Ridge’ private press. The ‘Life Of A River’ project will see a further advance in his musical development, with highly complex compositions, woven together with field recording and acoustic instruments, to create a rich tapestry of sound.

Video is a new venture for the artist, and with the advent of highly portable High Definition equipment, combined with digital technology, has opened-up a vast world of creative possibilities.  The video work will be done in partnership with his wife Liz, who trained as a photographer at Reading.

To contact Mark please email

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