The Great Yarmouth Project
Great Yarmouth dances beyond the conformities of a controlled aesthetic. As Giuliana Bruno has said, ‘a landscape is, in many ways, a trace of the memories and imaginations of those who pass through it ... an intertextural terrain of passage’.
It’s 125 years since P.H.Emerson and T.F.Goodhall published their celebrated book, Wild Life on a Tidal Water, set in Great Yarmouth and Breydon Water. It’s twelve years since Bruer Tidman and Mark Cator first talked of collaborating as painter and photographer to capture an image of Great Yarmouth as found today. The first stage ran from June 2017 - September 2017, working fast and sketching out. The second stage carrried on from this point to September 2018, followed by an exhibition in the Great Yarmouth Library in November. Tidman and Cator's collaborartion has created a beguiling empathy and understanding of place. - Great Yarmouth Library, November 2018.
This body of work can be found in Utter Journal, Issue 1
As the world entertains the fate of Cuba, few look at a country that has, in a space of 100 years seen it's way through colonialism, capitalism and communism, adapting or discarding elements of each along the way. While exploring the consequences of Cuba's legendary, and at times uneasy, allegiance with foreign powers, Mark Cator's photographs reveal a country that still invokes a sense of continuity and endurance that remain the spirit of her people. - Hendee House Studios, June 2018.
"The reasons for doing are mostly imagined and the imagined is a perfect reason to do. I’m walking down a road, I see a lady in a yellow skirt, later there’s this old man with an umbrella. I don’t recall or reason with the significance of either and a latent retinal image of a defined moment, morphs to the by-product of an imagined narrative. It’s as if in a dream, the experience is real, then on waking, the reality, or recall, is at best a vague attachment, which either horrifies or excites, where a glimpse of the whole remains unfinished, where life has suddenly become a curious matter". Mark Cator
Mark Cator began Either Or in 2004, basing his work around R.D.Laing’s writings on the path to schizophrenic breakdown, where 'the outsider, estranged from himself and society, cannot experience himself or others as ‘real’'. Cator’s sudden fictions are a process of invention, accidental moments, a re-seeing of event. The constructs have softened over the 12 years but Cator’s work remains laden with hidden metaphor, combining the force of words as title, in order to reflect the interplay between image. It is this playful irrationality, the mobility around a thought, its’ physicality as an unfinished moment, sometimes tragic, sometimes comic, that give visibility to an overall feeling of human emotion and endeavor. - Merchant House Gallery, June 2016.
In Plant Form
"For me photography is all about a language of intent, it’s about the encounter. I’m torn between the serious minded, or humour. To spin a yarn, or to write a weightier tribute to the aesthetic intricacies and endless natural variations of plant form. So I leave the studio on a Monday night under a sickle moon, the sound of the nightingale in the willow tree nearby and in the morning I return to those early Spring smells, the dawn chorus and a cuckoo cuckooing out there, somewhere. And I laugh out loud! “How can I compete with nature?” Anything I record is at best a verisimilitude at worst a pastiche. So, it has to be humour but deep down inside me is a tinkling that I would love to be a botanist, or dendrologist. I’m as undecided as when my elder brother would exclaim while readying for a party, “why bother, you’re no flower!” And now my children proclaim as fact, “but dad you’re a delicate flower, that’s why!” Where I am certain, is an understanding and belief in nature is the key to why life is". Mark Cator . - Merchant House Gallery, May 2014.