Mark Aitken

Sanctum Ephemeral

8th July - 9th September 2018

These pictures are about seeking sanctuary in the ephemeral. 

The context is also ephemeral. Property developers have cast a shadow over the homes in these photographs. 

I have pressing conversations with neighbours. We shed frustration. The impositions are beyond our control. Proposals beyond comprehension. 

There’s nothing wrong with my house. Why do they want to knock it down? 

Words fail us. We feel impotent and angry. 

People let me into their homes. I hear stories; gather evidence. Some of it makes sense. Some of it troubling. 

The rooms, the memories and the inhabitants reflect each other. Empty rooms as full as those overflowing. We talk about making pictures. We shape inanimate tableaus. Trust develops. 

An old Jamaican man tells me... 

When you wake you should knock three times on your pillow to remember your dreams. 

I ask people about their dreams...
I speak with children. The world is their dream. 

Others know their dreams are behind them and are more concerned about being awake. 

I speak with adults. Some want to know what happened. 

I learn that everything is ephemeral and that if there is such a thing as sanctuary, it lies within this understanding.

Mark Aitken's practice includes film, photography and writing. Born in New Zealand, raised in South Africa, Mark moved to the UK to study art. His award winning documentaries have been broadcast internationally. With a reputation for striking visual elements and sound design along with complex themes, the most recent of which produced in a mental asylum run by its own patients being exemplary. 

Mark has lectured at Goldsmiths University in London and runs a non-profit that’s produced over forty films. He’s a published
author and hosts a radio series on Resonance fm. Mark is currently working on a PhD and upcoming projects.