Mark Trinham Environmental Artist Interview

September 2016, Jan Juc, Victoria

Interview Transcript (edited)

I’m Mark Trinham. I’m an environmental artist, and my work focusses 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, and this led me to follow a formal training in art and design, andrainfa 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 environment groups in Melbourne; including the Rainforest Action Group, Friends of the Earth, and Bay Rescue.

With these groups I actually started doing graphic design illustration work for them, as well as learning a lot more about environmental issues, and also 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 the age of 21 I started my own environmental clothing company, Blue Earth, producing strong environmental messages through graphic design and illustration, and 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 a lot of people, learning as much as I can 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 environment 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 a lot of that time has been spent working in collaboration with other artists, and with various community groups.

I work in the mediums of graphic design, illustration, painting, drawing, sculpture, large scale public art installations, and music as well.

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 to actually make a difference.