Making Marks: Ian Mood

In today’s digital world where hi res images are endlessly poured over and regurgitated, Mood's loose painterly approach offers a refreshing change - where capturing feeling is more important than merely recapturing fact.


His work sets out to allude to a space or form whilst making the fewest marks possible. He plays with both colour and configuration to suggest surfaces and structures that are barely there and yet possess an apparent sense of solidity.


Whether engaged in landscape, figurative work or portraiture, oil painting or charcoal drawing, Mood asks the viewer to bring their own story to the fore and fill in the gaps.


Whilst pursuing his practise to produce work reflecting his contemporary surroundings, Mood is unafraid to reach back into Manchester’s historic past - conjoining dramatic images of Manchester Cathedral and John Ryland's Library, and forging links with historic Mancunian institutions including the Royal Exchange Theatre, where he is currently sketching the rehearsal process.


In Great Bridgewater Street, an ethereal Beetham Tower rises above a mere suggestion of the arched Metrolink bridge, whilst in Salford Lads' Club, the Edwardian redbrick facade seems to glow against the counterpoint of its blue green paintwork.


But it is Mood's portraiture in charcoal that treads the lightest on the paper, strongly relying upon the viewer to join the dots and put back together a fragile soul.


Running for three weeks, the exhibition includes paintings and sketches made of Mark Gatiss in National Theatre Live's production of The Madness of George III (2018) and Julie Hesmondhalgh in rehearsal for Brecht's Mother Courage at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre (2019).


Born in Stoke on Trent in 1973, Ian Mood studied Fine Art at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He divides his time between his home in the High Peak, Derbyshire and the west coast of America. His work features in collections in New York and Cape Cod. He is a member of the Artists’ Association of Nantucket where he was awarded the Frank Swift Chase Plein Air Award 2014.