Art ninja

CHANCES are you’ve seen Mark Welsh’s work without knowing it.

The fine arts graphic designer is the man behind the scenes of numerous private, state and local government art projects, including the new Children’s Hospital’s interactive sculptures and Perth Stadium’s sports memorabilia collection.

The South Fremantle local worked as senior graphic designer for Museums WA for five years.

• Mark Welsh has worked on the Perth Stadium’s sports memorabilia collection and various outdoor exhibits. Photos supplied

He then opened his own design studio Fabrik in 2009, specialising in creating engaging art spaces for exhibitions.

The National Trust was quick to recognise Welsh’s skill to translate potentially dry and complex histories into vibrant stories.

His Trust projects include Tranby and Gallop Houses, and Ellensbrook House, the former home of Ellen Bussell.

“It’s about interpreting a site…you are designing the environment… it’s at the cusp between fine art design and graphic design,” he says.

• Wadandi elder and artist Sandra Hill’s artworks at Ellenbrook adorn posts created by Walsh, who also provided nearby signage to the site.

A number of Welsh’s projects have earned him a gong in the WA Heritage Awards, and the Museums and Galleries National Award.

“I’ve never missed a MAGNA since 2014,” he says bashfully.

Once a curator decides what content is significant, it’s down to Welsh to inject life into inanimate objects and make them engaging for visitors.

It was his eye for visual storytelling that brought to life Fremantle Prison’s current exhibition Protest and Unrest.

Kilometres of string illustrated the vital role Wireless Hill in Ardross played in relaying morse-code around the world during World War II.

Welsh is also a successful artist and has a studio at Fremantle’s Arthurs Head art precinct.

• Mark Welsh

He’s had a number of exhibitions in WA and the eastern states, and organised the multi-artist Brilliant exhibition at Moore’s Gallery for two successive years.

Welsh recently completed an artist-in-residence at Donnelly River, with an exhibition planned at Earlywork Gallery November 14-24.


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