Mark Wingrave is a Melbourne based artist in Australia using translation to make paintings about
writing. Translation is his subject matter, he observes it in the manner a landscape painter observes
a river. Translating requires close reading, seeing into the writer’s mind to make another poem. This
work is his raw experience, you can almost touch it. In sum, translation produces art materials to
work with. His paintings mix associations with abstraction, architectural forms: windows, light and
shadow, gaps in fences, positive and negative space like the optical illusion of two faces and a vase.
His recent drawings develop a drama of unstable forms, transparent colours overlap and their edges
blur as if displaced.
While at Narva Mark Wingrave will work with Estonian poet Larissa Joonas and translate a group of
her poems from Russian into English. At the same time he plans a series of paintings that echo this
process. The residency will culminate in an exhibition and reading where writing and painting,
Russian and English will coexist and overlap. The painter and writer expect interesting connections
to take place. For instance, Larissa writes of dreams and air going beyond borders, while he paints
positive and negative forms that appear to exchange places. Their project will reflect on the discrete
work of painter, poet and their shared involvement in translation. What’s more it will highlight that
translation not only promotes cultural understanding, but also transforms art.