September 2016, Jan Juc, Victoria
Interview Transcript (edited)
I’m Mark Trinham. I’m an environmental artist, and my work focuses on the natural environment.
Having grown up in country Victoria (Australia), on family farms and close to bushland, I developed a fairly strong understanding and love of the natural environment at an early age.
Also another love was art, which led me to follow formal training in art and design and gain a diploma in graphic design at university. After university, I worked in a graphic design studio in Melbourne, and during this period, I became actively involved in environmental groups in Melbourne, including the Rainforest Action Group, Friends of the Earth, and Bay Rescue.
With these groups, I started doing graphic design illustration work for them and learning a lot more about environmental issues and the natural environment, which I already had a love for.
This was a driving force to realise my destiny as an artist and the power that art has as a communication tool.
At age 21, I started my own environmental clothing company, Blue Earth, producing strong environmental messages through graphic design and illustration, reproducing those onto clothing, and distributing them throughout Australia.
At the same time, I was still spending a lot of time in the bush, networking with many people, and learning as much as possible about the natural environment.
This led me to move down to the surf coast; which again, I set up new networks with fellow artists and also other environmental groups and learnt a lot about my natural environment here and what I call the spirit of the land; the land that is the common thing that everyone shares.
We all live with this land, and sustainability is a very important focus for me, and that’s why I believe that if I can get my message out there, it will give other people tools to engage with the natural environment, to understand the environment, to learn to love nature, and once they love nature, then protecting it comes naturally.
I’ve been working as a professional artist for over 25 years, and much of that time has been spent collaborating with other artists and various community groups.
I work in graphic design, illustration, painting, drawing, sculpture, large-scale public art installations, and music.
So I believe that restoring and preserving the natural environment, including threatened species, is a conscious act of living, and I try and bring that into my life, my message, through art.
Whatever you love doing, think about what you can do actually to make a difference.
updated 15 July, 2022