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Whispering with Trees of Purbeck and Beyond

Whispering With Trees, of Purbeck and Beyond

Art Exhibition by Mark Titman at The Bear Hotel, Wareham

22nd June – 28th June


About Mark Titman

Mark was the designer for The Green Park drinking fountain in The Royal Parks, so a lot of the artwork and text that accompanies the show, explain how important our modern romantic connection to the natural world and elements, is today, in our more grey, linear world. Mark is particularly keen on Lyme Regis’ author, John Fowles’, ‘The Tree’ and has used this text as an important inspiration for his architecture students designing green buildings and public spaces for London and beyond; and for exploring ways to establish a healthier lifestyle and engaging environment of natural (not ostentatious) luxury- to help us all in the modern life where The Machine Mind seems to be over taking us.


Mark Titman Watering Hole Green Park, London


‘Watering Holes’ (Mark’s fountain in Green Park) offered the drinker the opportunity to become immersed in the experience of having a drink and being at one with the elements. The act of inserting one’s head into a hole within a stone to receive a drink is both a reference to ancient stone structures, birth stones and especially wishing wells and ancient rituals and a timeless response to the axis mundi – connecting the elements of earth, sky and water. By chance Watering Holes was located directly above the ancient river Tibor in Green Park overlooking Piccadilly and Buckingham Palace. It was carefully designed with children, dogs, squirrels, and horses in mind and the disabled. Mute like the monolith in 2001 Space Odyssey, it also allows joyful portraits to be taken and also has been used for footballer target practice.

Whispering with Trees

Mark’s watercolour paintings continue this theme of the individual becoming immersed or fully engaged in more physical space by extending the views beyond what is seen in front of the eye, immersed sensually in nature’s gentler embrace beyond the fountain/immediate view of the front of the trees. The paintings look beyond the immediate physical surface and also become an extension of the surrounding life forms. The paintings form part of a series of what he calls-x-ray explorations- into the lively and vibrant nature of walking in the park or a forest or garden. They are a study of vibrancy and reveal how much each species offers its own colour and individual form to the complex experience of being immersed within nature’s fold.

Mark Titman Art Exhibition The Bear Wareham June 2024

Painted on site, the process involved the artist channelling individual trees’ and plants’ responses to a psychic dialogue. The artist relinquished as much control as possible whilst drawing their outlines without looking at the paper. In some ways, these are paintings made by the trees and therefore suggest ways of automatic painting and a different type of authorship. Here the author/artist is immersed in the environment of living colour and form that can speak. The onus was on the artist to listen, not to project, and to become the space by being small. Here the artist is both point and periphery; an extended mind where the trees have both tears and laughter.

As a senior lecturer in Architecture, Mark’s design briefs over several years, always included an emphasis on what he loosely calls green or eco tech explorations; that were about not simply energy saving- but reconnecting town and city dwellers with the elements, as part of a need for general grounding in our more virtual age. This switch to finding more than energy saving designs, originated after working with a chemical engineer on a research paper commissioned by the European Space Agency, on the design principles of how the interiors of space stations should be arranged. Most importantly, coincidentally- at that same time this was being explored the ESA space station inhabitants went on strike! So, our ideas for having plants grown for oxygen, seemed more important when space dwellers’ satisfaction was accounted for more than simply functional efficiency and ergonomics. With this in mind, delight and sustainability became complementary- and Mark’s edition of AD The New Pastoralists, Landscape Into Architecture’ and Mark’s design for Watering Holes (commissioned by Tiffany’s for The Royal Parks, with the first being built in Green Park), began this new stage of sustainable designs- where an element of delight, has now for Mark, become a key part of architectural efficiency. Locally Mark has located and designed a walled garden and an original feature, a love seat at Encombe House for Lord Eldon’s ancestors -the daughter of whom, eloped with Humphrey Repton, the landscape architect – who designed the gardens – hence the love seat.

Mark also assisted garnering local support to protect the tree at risk of removal at the new Cottee’s site and argued that the softness and gentle delight it brings to the townscape was of great value to us and visitors.

As a research fellow at The RCA Mark explored The Evolution Of The English Household, And Older People’ and explored the ways that accessibility and flexible planning and future proofing allow for flexible accommodation for varying households and ways houses can be designed to facilitate permanence and change for an increasingly older and ageing population- working with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on ‘The Lifetime Homes Principle’ he helped make older peoples housing more delightful and less institutionalised and explored ways garden in homes might be leased.


Mark would love to meet you at the exhibition, when you’re next in Wareham between the 22nd and 28th of June at The Black Bear. His studio is situated in East Street and of course, he would be more than ecstatic to help with your barn conversions, landscape follies or any small garden features and show you how they can become best integrated into your gardens. Mark would also welcome commissions for tree, farm animal or house portraits too. Every buyer of an original water colour will be given a free tree to be planted in or around Wareham. Find out more at www.marktitman.com or call Mark on 07771907011. 



Jun 22 - 29 2024


9:00 AM - 5:00 PM




The Bear Hotel and Restaurant
The Bear Hotel and Restaurant
14 South Street, Wareham, Dorset. BH20 4LT


The Bear Hotel
The Bear Hotel
01929 288 150
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