Mark Swords: Lost Highway Guy
There is a song on “repeat play” in the studio. It is late. I am wallowing in my thoughts, my focus drifting between the music and my own ideas, surrounded by paintings.
“…all alone and lost…”
I am there, very much alone and must somehow use this time, make it count.
“O the day we met I went astray …”
I should be somewhere else, helping someone else. Nothing here could be as important as that.
“…and now I’m lost, too late to pray…”
I have made five paintings. I made them with my thoughts, my obsessions and my anxieties. I let myself make this work. Lost in thoughts. What I have lost.
“Take my advice or you’ll curse the day, you started rolling down that Lost Highway.”
I tried to allow anything into the paintings – from the big questions to the incidental, the accidental. I made this work with revisions and editing, with experience and knowledge because I had to, I cannot “unlearn” who I have become. I am older now.
“Take my advice or you’ll curse the day you started rollin’ down that Lost Highway.”
I made these paintings while thinking about the future. I am a father now. I made them while thinking about my past. I am a son, still. Probably everyone is on that Highway or, at least feels it occasionally. Maybe he was lonely but he sure wasn’t alone. His was no VIP club. It is late and time to go home.
“… just another guy on the Lost Highway.”
Lost Highway Guy is Swords’ first exhibition since his acclaimed solo show The living and the dead at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios in 2017. Other past exhibitions include Mystery Ewer, Artbox, 2016 and I won’t say I’ll see you tomorrow, Multiple venues in Wicklow, 2014. His work has been included in several survey exhibitions including Soul Beating, Gorey, 2017, Pallas Periodical Review, Pallas Projects, 2013, Painting Now, Ron Mandos Gallery, Amsterdam, Making Familiar, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios (both in 2012) and Futures, RHA Gallery, Dublin in 2009.