Door opens into the lives of Surf Coast artists

Mark Trinham with his hand-sculptured door. (Rebecca Hosking) 210628_11

By Luke Voogt

Mark Trinham will open the door into his artistic world in a new online series featuring some of the Surf Coast’s most creative people.

A real-life door covered in ferns and birds just so happened to be the Jan Juc sculptor’s latest project, he told the Independent on Wednesday.

“The talk we’re doing is called Unfurling and this door has a fern unfurling too,” the 51-year-old said.

From illustrations for Landcare wildlife collector cards to collaborating on Torquay’s colourful analemmatic sundial, Trinham’s artistry spans an eclectic 30 years’ worth of projects.

“For me, art’s about sharing the enjoyment I get in nature, the interesting things I come across and the stories I discover,” he said.

“My beginnings were in graphic design and illustration, and then I ventured into the realm of murals and public art.”

His foray into public art, shortly after he moved to Jan Juc three decades ago, resulted in some “great collaborations” over the years, he said.

“It’s all about learning from each other and sharing skills.”

One highlight was listening to Indigenous elders while constructing an 80-metre-long sculpture in the baking hot sun of the Simpson desert in southwest Queensland during 2012.

“At some points it was incredibly hot and we had great willy-willies come through our camp,” he said.

“The vastness and the space are something that really stuck in my mind. In a day you might have one car drive past and some days you might not have anyone at all drive past.”

The crushed rock structure, made in collaboration with fellow artist Glenn Romanis, tells a local Dreamtime story for those passing by.

“When you drive over the hill you’re struck with this artwork in the vastness – that has a very powerful effect on people.”

Unfurling kicks off a series of virtual workshops, conversations and panel discussions this month, hosted by the Surf Coast Shire.

The PORTAL Sunday morning sessions will feature local personalities and artists such as Corinna Eccles, Ferne Millen, Sally Groom, Miranda Jarvis and Iris Walshe-Howling.

“It will be a celebration of artists coming together,” Trinham said.

“Hopefully people will find it interesting and empowering.”

Julie Dyer, who worked in arts for the shire for 23 years, joins Trinham in the Unfurling, beginning at 11am on Sunday.

The sessions are part of the shire’s ‘COVID-safe’ alternatives following the cancellation of its Surf Coast Arts Trail, which normally attracts about 5000 people.

More information: www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/portal

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