Over the last few years Mark Rodda has been slowly creating an elaborate painted ecosystem; with each new work a previously unseen aspect of his dark and romantic world comes to light. With his exhibition dates coinciding with Halloween, his paintings have increased in their darkness. Rough terrain, shadowed mountains and craggy trees dominate his picture planes. Low cloud and fog envelope these environments, and in the title paintings, Lairs of the Haunted (I) and Lairs of the Haunted (II), mountain-perched buildings become gargoyle-like faces. Also included in the exhibition will be two large works depicting the Tasmanian highlands. This is a recent development for an artist who, in previous times, actively avoided replicating real locations.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a soundtrack pressed onto seven-inch vinyl, with original recordings produced specifically for the project.
Rodda was born in Tasmania and lives and works in Melbourne. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) at the University of Tasmania, Launceston, in 1994 and Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) at RMIT, Melbourne in 1999. He has held solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Shoeglaze, Gallery 9, Sydney, 2013; Autumn Landscapes, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2012; Mark Rodda and Jake Walker, Utopian Slumps at Auckland Art Fair, New Zealand, 2011; Sleeping Giants, Utopian Slumps, 2011; Phantom Lords, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; Tidal River, Kings ARI, Melbourne, 2009; True Game Systems (in collaboration with Utopian Slumps and Büro North), Next Wave Festival, Federation Square, Melbourne, 2008; The Inland Sea (with Jake Walker), Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2007; and Under A Tungsten Star, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2007. Selected group exhibitions include Rock, Vapour, Fissures, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2013; The Painting Group, Utopian Slumps, 2010; Notfair, Melbourne, 2010; The Ultimate Time Lapse Megamix, Next Wave Festival, Federation Square, 2010; Everything We Build We Tear Apart, Poimena Gallery, Launceston, 2010; Territorial Pissings, Utopian Slumps, 2010; The Shilo Project, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Warrnambool Art Gallery, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney and Mildura Arts Centre, 2010; Visage, Firstdraft, Sydney, 2009; Where in the Woods?, VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2008. Rodda was finalist in the Wynne Prize and John Leslie Art Prize in 2013, and winner of the Glover Prize in 2014.