Profile: Mark Wilman
Mark Wilman’s photographic work about Ios island in 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 this spectacular Cycladic island.
2017 saw the addition of Sikinos to the project. Ios' closest neighbour has a complex physical character with a history of wine production dating back over 2,500 years. 'Discovering the Beauty of Ios and Sikinos' will have its first public exhibition in Milan in 2018.
A visitor to Ios and Sikinos from age ten in 1974, Mark has learned intensely from experiences lived on both islands, becoming a freediver, trekker and rock climber in order to discover the islands' abundant beauty in greater detail and using photography to capture his impressions along the way. He began work on 'Discovering the Beauty of Ios and Sikinos' in 2014, reaching a conclusive point in in the second half of 2017.
Originally from the Notting Hill area of London, though his mother is from the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, he spent many years in Milan where he followed a teaching career in English language which earned him a client list that 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; many national and multinational companies and organisations in a wide variety of sectors including: medical, 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 inside him 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 Roxana, the psychologist who models in much of his photographic work, caused a decisive evolution in his capacity to express the admiration he feels for 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 beauty in its essential form as a gentle but persuasive remedy to problems and of everyday life, particularly the complexity of human relationships both real and virtual, experience has shown him that the search rewards efforts made.
At times, doubt attempts to persuade surrender, though never for long: the sense of satisfaction from achievement, no matter how small, encourages a desire to excel. Physical fitness is his means of arrival. Increased optimism, improved attitudes, positive views, better choices and good health are the result, relationships of greater sincerity and significance a consequence.
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 good feelings and emotions, it encourages creativity and leads to a more evolved state of natural happiness.