Mark Wilman's photographic work Discovering the Beauty of the Cyclades will have an exhibition in Milan officially approved by Il Comune di Milano (City Council of Milan) at Acquario Civico di Milano (Aquarium of Milan) in May - June 2019. Details will follow soon.
A frequent visitor to the archipelago since the age of ten, he has learned intensely from experiences on the islands becoming a freediver, rock climber and trekker in order to discover their abundant beauty using photography to capture his impressions along the way. He began work on the project in 2014 and remains highly focused on it until today. Now 54 and still exercising vigorously six days a week, he appreciates how a passion for exploration has modelled his outlook.
Originally from the Notting Hill area of London - though one of his parents is from the Caribbean - he spent many years in Milan following a teaching and consulting career in language with a client list that included high level professionals such as Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana (influential in his choice of elegant black in many of the 'Visitor' galleries in the project); Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan) where he lectured to PhDs, researchers and professors at the faculties of Natural Sciences; national and multinational organisations in a variety of sectors, particularly the legal field and advertising where he collaborated with top agencies including DDB, D,L,V-BBDO, FCB, Lowe, McCann Worldgroup, Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi, where he worked with many of the top creative minds in Italy for 2 decades, such as Gianpietro Vigorelli, Vicky Gitto and Giuseppe Mastomatteo.
As photographer for the Milan Cricket Club, he developed experience in capturing human movement, something decidedly useful in the Cyclades project where the female form interacts with her natural surroundings.
Milan also brought about a personal introduction to the famous artist Maurizio Cattelan, an encounter with a decisive impact. Having held regular meetings for two years in an office in a beautiful Liberty style building where a piece of artwork by the celebrated Italian was placed - even being locked inside the room with it on one occasion by an unknowing caretaker - curiosity began to take root. The artist was close in presence but never in person. That changed one winter afternoon when he found him busily writing at a desk and was introduced by a creative director also present. There was an aura of brilliance about the man, highly individual and challenging. As a consequence, Mark began questioning his own ideas about visual expression. The handshake had had its impact.
In the late 1990s, he'd met, by chance, 41st U.S. President George H. W. Bush on a beach in the Cyclades. Tall with large hands and powerful eyes, the former leader was friendly and welcoming. After talking together for some minutes, with Bush family members all around, he introduced Mark to General Colin Powell, sitting close by, whose hand he also shook, while his young son observed from inside his arms. The impact was certainly intense and Mark concluded that nothing is impossible, a belief he's held ever since. (For reference, the Bush family was visiting the Cyclades in a bright blue ship.)
Later, he met the psychologist who would model in his photographic work. She inspired in him the desire to express the admiration he feels for the graceful female form, as the Beauty of the Female Kind and Visitor galleries on this site will attest.
Believing strongly in the value of natural beauty as a gentle but persuasive remedy to life's complexities and difficulties, experience in his search has shown him that the effort is always worth making, no matter how exhausting.
He concludes that beauty invariably triumphs over ugliness and evil; destroy beauty but a flower will grow in the place of destruction, no matter how long it takes. Beauty has a calming effect, it pacifies and produces positive emotions, encourages creativity and benefits relationships; it leads to a more evolved state of natural happiness.