Mark Eldred was born in Hong Kong in 1964. His childhood was spent in rural Norfolk, England.
After leaving school he went to Goldsmiths Art College in London and in 1985 received his Batchelor of Arts Honours degree in fine art for landscape & portrait painting. He then left England and travelled for four years through Asia, Australia and New Zealand, gaining much inspiration from living in the rainforests and wilderness areas of these countries.
On returning to England, using a motor caravan as his base, Mark travelled throughout Norfolk painting and sketching the tranquil landscapes of this area, working towards a solo exhibition in Norwich and a group show in London.
Mark then came to Ireland for a holiday in 1992, he was so inspired by the unspoilt natural beauty of the landscape that he decided to make it his home. He now lives in Glenflesk near Killarney, Co Kerry with his wife Jean and their two children.
He has spent the last twenty five years passionately painting the Kerry Landscape and is continually inspired by the richness and diversity of his environs. His paintings reflect this diversity ranging from boulder streams, waterfalls, forests, cloud scapes, bogs, seascapes, mountain ranges and lakes.
I have three sources of inspiration. My childhood, my college years in London and my four year trip accross Asia , Australia and New Zealand and subsequent move to Ireland.
Firstly my childhood.I was lucky enough to spend the first 18 years of my life living in a scenic area of Norfolk with a beautiful river and old mill at the bottom of our garden, where i spent a considerable amount of time fishing. Looking back i realise that i absorbed all the colours , smells and sounds of these slow meandering rivers, and the passion and energy i now have for painting water in all its forms and reflections certainly comes from my ealy years.
Secondly, my time spent awayfrom the countryside , living in London attending Goldsmiths Art College studying Fine Art and Photography.Initially my paintings here reflected my surroundings,producing works of street scenes, markets ,and city parks filled with people.After three years of city life i felt myself being drawn back to the norfolk countryside, where i started to paint river scapes.My final degree show reflected this with a mixture of portraits , city scapes and landscapes.
Thirdly, on leaving Art College i left England and travelled for four years across south east Asia , Australia and New Zealand. I spent most of my time exploring the diverse landscapes of these countries living for a while in the Himalaya"s , and also spending a considerable amount of time in the rainforests.However it was in New Zealand that i started to feel a very powerful connection with nature , and was for a while able to live off the land catching Sea trout, and collecting mussels and Abalone shellfish.
On arriving back i England four years later i spent the first six months painting the Norfolk landscape culminating in two exhibitions in Norwich and London.I then started to miss the wildness of the New Zealand landscape, and it was only on a subsequent trip to the west coast of ireland when i realised i had found the place i wanted to live.
“There are still areas of wilderness in Ireland and I feel very fortunate to be able to live here. My recent paintings are inspired by the seasons as they are happening in the landscape. This change between Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn with all the differences in colours, textures, smells and moods is a constant source of inspiration for my work”