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(91) Mark Seabrook - British Defence Force Uniforms
Aside from the occasional ink drawing, I don’t work on paper very often, so I took this opportunity to do something new and try watercolour. It was a lot more forgiving that I thought it would be and I will definitely do more with it in the future.
My page of the Newnes’ Pictorial Encyclopedia was a colour plate with depictions of the British Defence Forces from 1645 to 1745. During the English Civil War, the New Model Army was formed by the Parliamentarians, led by Oliver Cromwell, as a full-time militia in their fight against the Royalists and King Charles I. Aside from the swords and the muskets, this Admiral (centre), soldiers and seamen are hardly threatening to our modern eyes. Their uniforms seem to be quite foppish and dandy with an array of sashes, cuffs, stockings and buckled shoes. They have been represented in rakish, jaunty poses. They would seem more at home on the catwalk than the battlefield. They were a full-time militia, though, so in my depiction I’ve made them a little more threatening but still smiling.
I am a Melbourne-based artist and graphic designer with a focus on representational / figurative works that are usually rendered in oil paint, and have been exhibiting in galleries for a couple of decades. I completed a bachelor’s degree in Art History which informs much of my work, along with liberal doses of pop culture, absurdism and humour. I have a fascination with old photographs, from iconic depictions of important historical events to random strangers’ snapshots in discarded family albums. I like to use these photographs, as well as various imagery from throughout art history, as the basis for subjects for paintings but subverting and distorting the original intent. I render these in meticulous detail, elevating a quick gag into an elaborate joke. This can sometimes be disarming – challenging the viewer, rather than pleasing them – but the paintings usually reward closer investigation with layered meanings, social commentary and amusement.
See Marks Art Aviso profile HERE
Mark was provided with the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:
Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia.
On things that interest you and me.
British Uniforms Plate 1