Mark’s art leaves people scratching their heads

Reporter:

Jim Green

A FLINTSHIRE artist with a unique talent has been bewildering passers-by in the Welsh capital.

Bizarre lifelike sculptures that have appeared on the streets of Cardiff are the handiwork of young Holywell artist Mark Roberts

The mysterious figures have popped up at locations across the capital in recent months in a variety of peculiar poses leaving pedestrians wondering where they had come from.

One figure was left clinging to the edge of a multi-storey car park while another looked to have dived head first into a bin.

Artist Mark has now claimed responsibility for the intriguing installations.

The 24-year-old recently completed a degree in sculpture at Cardiff University and said the stunts were designed to get people talking about his art.

“The figures are made out of duct tape and then placed in different locations around Cardiff,” he said.

“I try to make my figures look as real as possible. They are dressed in real clothes and I put them in real-life situations in public places.”

Mark said his work is heavily influenced by artists such as George Segal, Henry Moore and Alberto Giacometti.

“Most of my sculptures are based on a technique known as trompe l'oeil, which is French for ‘deceive the eye’,” he said.

“The idea is to create an illusion and to trick people into thinking the figures are real.

“People stop for a closer look and lots of them take pictures which is what I am aiming for.”

Having completed his studies, Mark recently returned to Holywell and plans to continue creating public exhibitions of his art.

“I’ve already started work on my next figure and it should be appearing somewhere in North Wales soon,” he said.

“Long-term I hope my art will allow me to travel the world and I am keen to work on some city-wide art projects.

“People in Flintshire should definitely keep their eyes peeled for my next sculpture.”
Some of Mark’s work can be viewed online at www.flickr.com/markrobla.

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