Mark writes, “In October 2019 I flew to Kyoto for five weeks to draw in the Zen Gardens. I felt in need of a period of reformation and reflection on my practice away from the studio and routine professional commitments. These periodic immersive retreats have become pivotal to detaching myself from my habitual creative impulses and discovering the way forward. Japan’s gardens embody a philosophy and aesthetic that is profoundly different and yet superficially familiar to us through its pervasive cultural influence. This research time enabled me to get profoundly lost in a new landscape of references, ideas and forms. I am deeply grateful and indebted for this, it was transformative.
What I did not anticipate was the role of the evening bath house visits, made locally every couple of days. Initially undertaken from curiosity, they became an intensely relaxing part of my routine and a second strand of drawing, although in counterpoint to the gardens conducted purely through looking and memorising. The collages are all made on a base of Awagami paper with coloured papers, torn up books, marbled paper, mt tape, mono-printed ink marks on tissue paper, crayons, pens and pencils. The aim was to keep the surfaces as light and floating as possible – a visual dance of forms whose choreography held a meditative stillness at its centre. You can read more about this transformational period of work in Monk art magazine www.monk.gallery/interviews/mark-cazalet-into-the-mysterium.”