Mark Wilman’s photographic work about the Cyclades has been accepted for consideration at the highest levels of the art world. The focus on Mediterranean nature and its encounter with humanity in the female form create a bond they naturally express: woman blending harmoniously with mother nature inside the untamed, scenic landscapes of these spectacular islands.
Discovering the Beauty of the Cyclades will have its first public exhibition in Milan in 2019.
A visitor to the Cyclades archipelago from age ten in 1974, Mark has learned intensely from experiences on the islands, becoming a freediver, trekker and rock climber in order to discover their abundant beauty in greater detail and using photography to capture his impressions along the way. He began work on the project in 2014 and remains highly focused until today.
Originally from the Notting Hill area of London, though one of his parents is from the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, he spent many years in Milan following a teaching and consulting career in English language that earned him a client list which included: Hon. Gabriele Albertini, 8 year Mayor of Milan, Deputy of the European Parliament and Senator; Stefano Gabbana of Dolce e Gabbana; Giampiero Vigorelli, an icon in Italian advertising for close to three decades; Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan), where he taught to PhDs, researchers and professors; national and multinational companies and organisations in a variety of sectors including: pharmaceutical, legal, public transportation, advertising, defence, fashion, energy, architecture, PR, marketing, banking, manufacturing, photography.
Milan also brought about a personal introduction to the famous artist Maurizio Cattelan, an encounter which had a decidedly determined impact on him. Having spent many hours over a two year period working with clients in an office on the 8th floor of a beautiful Liberty style building in central Milan, in which a piece of artwork by the celebrated Italian was placed, - on one occasion, he even found himself locked inside the room with it by an unknowing caretaker - a strong curiosity arose about the artist: he was so close in presence but never in person. Until one winter afternoon upon arriving for a meeting with a creative director, a second person was also present busily writing at a desk. There was an aura of brilliance about the man, highly individual and challenging. Finally, Mark could ask himself if he was, in any way, similar to this person he'd heard so much about and if he could begin thinking more seriously about his own abilities in visual expression.
A lot has happened to Mark since then, quite unexpectedly. Meeting the psychologist who models in his photographic work, caused a decisive evolution in his capacity to express the admiration he feels towards the female form. Time spent working as personal consultant to Stefano Gabbana years before resulted in the choice of elegance in black as the optimum way to blend her with the nature of the Cyclades (see the introductions to the 'Beauty of the Female Kind' and 'Visitor' galleries).
Believing strongly in the value of natural beauty as a gentle but persuasive remedy to life's complexities, experience in his efforts to discover it has shown him that the search is always worth the effort.
Mark concludes that beauty invariably triumphs over ugliness and evil: destroy beauty but a flower will grow in the place of destruction and devastation, no matter how long it takes. Beauty has a calming effect, it pacifies and produces positive emotions, it encourages creativity and leads to a more evolved state of natural happiness.