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Topological Forms: Art by Mark M. Garrett

A painting made up of collaged map pieces and mixed mediaStates of Decay #5:KaraAdrift, cut map collage and gouache

Mark M. Garret is an artist who makes a practice out of drawing with scissors. Creating collages from bits of paper and old maps, Mark references topological forms, water, trees, and numerous other landscape features as well as purely abstract compositions.

A collage and gouache work made using pieces of a mapStates of Decay: Lakota Dream, cut map collage and gouache


Mark’s most recent map paintings are quite stunning. I adore the color palette that the artist has chosen for most of these – it heavily features deep blues and greens, far more saturated than the colors of the oceans on most maps, yet still seeming to reference those planes of blue. Cut into shapes ranging from large curved planes to very narrow tendrils of paper, the shredded maps are arranged in whirlpool patterns, often a black substrate that makes the blues particularly striking.

A screen capture of Mark M. Garrett's art websiteThe front page of Mark's website


These root-like, tendril forms are prevalent throughout Mark’s portfolio. In recent series, the artist has been working with ink, creating half-drawing, half-painting artworks that are essentially abstracted, but call to mind thick root systems, tree branches, veins, and river systems seen from above.  

An ink painting made with crossing, bleeding linesBramble6

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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