‘Dontworry’ by Mark Hilton

Often a work by artist Mark Hilton will draw a viewer into its aesthetic appearance and intricate craftsmanship. Once captivated by its initial appeal, it reveals a palpable message about very tough subjects. While drawing from personal experiences, the impact of the broader message is universal and relatable.

This is especially true of his work, Dontworry where the artist has created an installation of the words from finely detailed relief sculptures. While the familiar phrase instantly puts you at ease, the unusual shape of the letters invites you to come closer. The details, years in the making, inspire an admiration for the talent and craftsmanship behind the work. When finally you get close enough to make our exactly what it is that you have been looking at, you see the letters are filled with disturbing scenes oddly familiar and incredibly unsettling. Unmistakable themes of violence, torture, hate, stereotypes, and human nature fill the phrase.

The work, Dontworry is actually an exploration of the topic of apathy and that often the cruellest of human actions is complacency. Each letter explores a different manifestation of the theme. The hundreds – maybe thousands – of characters that have been individually carved from clay depict vivid personal stories from Mark’s own experiences. Even without knowing the stories, it’s easy to pick up on the ideas and relate to them in some way.

B.E Architecture’s design director, Broderick Ely first came across the work as part of a group exhibition at ACCA where he instantly purchased the “T”, also known as Enie Meanie for the B.E Workplace. Shortly thereafter, Brod went to meet with the artist in his studio where he gained an even greater appreciation for the craftsmanship and thought process that goes into the making of the works. Brod says, “You see the patience in his work. These are feats of strength. It would be hard to see it and just walk past it without engaging in the story.”

Since that time, B.E Architecture has introduced two of our clients to the work who have purchased individual letters to be included in their homes. The stand-alone letters, especially the “T” and “O” each have intriguing shapes on their own that inspire a similar response to the work as a whole. It’s certainly the type of art that starts conversations and that is where art has the ability to add an exciting dimension to a space. These are the journeys we try to encourage when we create spaces for people to live in.