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Beautiful Solitude

Words and images by Mark Forbes

By March 31, 2021August 26th, 2021The Collective

Traces of beauty exist everywhere around us. The scenes depicted in this series can be found just around the corner in all of our daily lives, there is no need to travel to an exotic location to find them. Many people however may not see the beauty in the ordinary, either being too busy, caught up in their daily hustle, or have simply just not spent the time looking to appreciate the details of everyday ordinary spaces and surrounds. Sometimes all we may need is the time and space – physical and emotional – to be able to pause to experience them. 

This series asks the viewer to stop for a few minutes and soak in the details that can go unseen in everyday life. While they contain the traces of people that have come before, it is the absence of anyone recognisable in the images that allows us to contemplate and appreciate the concept of beautiful solitude.

The series has evolved over the last 2-3 years and has coincided with a focus on mindfulness and mediation in my life. Nothing in any of the images was staged, and each of the scenes were found organically. The images are part of a broader series.

All images were photographed on medium format film, which I find to be an integral part of the creative process. Using film forces me to pre-visualise the image, and be more present in the scene that I am looking to document.

You can find Mark on Instagram or visit his website here.

Mark Forbes

Mark Forbes is best known for his considered and atmospheric documentary photography of street scenes, urban landscapes and structures. He employs film as his medium of choice for personal documentary work – using predominantly traditional medium format cameras.

Forbes’ approach to photography comes from an underlying fascination with people and their interaction with the environment. He has an uncanny knack of capturing the layers of beauty that exist everywhere around us. “I am an avid people watcher. When I’m out in the street, or even just day to day, I’m constantly seeing beautiful and interesting images and stories in my head.”

Forbes’ photographs have been exhibited throughout Australia at both commercial and public galleries, including the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Perth Centre for Photography, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie, Caloundra Regional Gallery, Barn Gallery, Bayside Gallery, Victorian Archive Gallery and the Stanley Street Gallery.

He was the winner of The Gomma Grant 2019 for the Best Colour Photograph, the winner of the OptiKA Photographic Award 2020 and has been a finalist in many renowned Art Prizes including the Blake Prize, Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art, CLIP Award, the Lake Art Prize, Footscray Art Prize, Photo Lucida Critical Mass and the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize (semi finalist).

While commercially his photographic style has led to shooting for many brands including Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and Samsung. He is available for assignments & commissions, and his limited edition prints are held in public and private collections, in Australia and internationally.

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