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FORTY STEPS IN THE RIVER BOVEY collection limited edition prints for sale

New art and science charity to sell limited edition prints donated by award-winning artist and stroke survivor Mark Ware

‘The Reflecting Nature charity is developing new and innovative ways of studying the natural environment. Its exciting collaborations between art and science promise to benefit us all.’

– Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP, Patron

In a rapidly evolving and increasingly urban environment, we often forget to acknowledge the enormous value of our relationship with nature. Award-winning interdisciplinary artist and Honorary Research Fellow Mark Ware is investigating and expressing the importance of nature through his art and his art/science collaborations, and via the Reflecting Nature in art & science charity, of which he is founder and Co-Director.

Ware’s new collection of professional quality digital prints entitled, Forty Steps In The River Bovey, once again explores his interest in timebased art. He has donated this work to Reflecting Nature in art & science, and the prints are now on offer to buy as signed limited editions, to help raise funds for this charity’s important work.

This new print collection is a contemporary, literal expression of a famous living metaphor written by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus (late 6th century BCE), often translated as, ‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man’.  This statement reflects Heraclitus’s belief that the world and life are in a constant state of change and balance.

Forty Steps In The River Bovey comprises forty semi-abstract digital photographs of water flowing over a medieval weir at the River Bovey in Devon, England. Buyers of this work have the opportunity to own a unique moment in the life of the river. On first glance, the images appear to be forty reproductions of the same image, but they are in fact forty different photographs of the same section of river, separated only by time, each showing a fresh body of water. 

About Mark Ware MFA

Mark Ware studied multimedia art at the University of Northumbria, and later, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was supported by a Fulbright Scholarship. In 1996, following a successful career in commercial video production and stills photography, Ware had a severe stroke at the age of 39, leaving him with a serious long-term physical and cognitive disability. Since that event, he’s become increasingly interested in how his subjective experience has been altered, and how his responses to his surroundings appear to be positively improved when he is exposed to nature. He says,

‘My experience of having a stroke 22 years ago has profoundly affected how I navigate and negotiate the world around me, and it has had an enormous impact on the way I think about and create art.  Throughout the many years of recovery, I have become acutely aware of how important the natural environment is to our health and wellbeing on a variety of vitally important levels, and I have regularly explored this realisation within my art.

Forty Steps In The River Bovey is directly influenced by the outcomes of my internationally recognised art and science collaboration investigations into how we respond to the natural environment. In particular, I have focused on exploring the belief that we feel better when looking at images of nature. Very loosely referencing dramatic romantic Victorian landscape paintings of the Scottish Highlands, the images in this collection lie in the area between abstract and figurative, where perception first meets experience, and emotional responses are evoked before the context, scale and identity of the subject-matter become apparent. The forty images can be viewed individually, but are conceptually designed to be experienced in small groups, or collectively in a gallery setting where they form a single artwork/installation. My approach of creating collections of artworks that can be viewed as a single art installation is probably best previously illustrated in my Arts Council England supported ‘Cathedra 900’ twenty eight artwork banner exhibition, displayed throughout Exeter Cathedral’s nave in England in 2012 and 2016:’

Ware’s Cathedra 900 banner installation exhibition at Exeter Cathedral (August and September 2012)

Ware’s artistic links with science began in 2011 whilst delivering a sound-based workshop for autistic children and children with cerebral palsy at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Ware noticed that natural sounds, such as crashing waves at Teignmouth Beach in Devon, elicited more positive responses than manmade sounds. This led him to develop his groundbreaking Arts Council England supported Wavelength Project that featured art and science collaborations with neuroscientists and psychologists at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science (University of Sussex) and the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research (Staffordshire University). Since 2015, the Wavelength Project has examined how we respond to sounds and images of nature. From this has come formal lab-based investigations, the publication of a Science Reports paper, a national art and science touring exhibition experienced by thousands of visitors, and a wide variety of art and science public engagement activities staged across England.

The collection’s forty different but intrinsically linked images are each offered for sale by the Reflecting Nature in art & science charity as one of a strictly limited edition of ten, signed by the artist; Only ten copies of each of the forty prints will be printed and offered for sale. The artist will retain one additional copy of the collection to be used in his exhibitions. The limited editions are priced at £600 for a recommended series of three unframed prints, or £260 for one unframed print. Quotes for other quantities are available upon request. All profits from sales of the limited edition prints will be used exclusively for Reflecting Nature in art & science charity activities (www.reflectingnature.org.uk). For more information about Forty Steps In The River Bovey, including how to order prints, please email reflectingnature32@gmail.com

Additional information about the limited edition prints

Forty Steps In The River Bovey is for sale as a collection of strictly limited edition prints. Mark Ware will retain one copy of the collection (‘artist’s proofs’) for his exhibitions, to help raise awareness of the work and allow the public to experience the collection in its entirety.

When exhibited, the artist’s proofs will be displayed in a single four-walled room, 10 prints per wall, and will be accompanied by a multichannel sound recording of the river that was captured at the same time as the photographs. The venue for the exhibition has yet to be decided.

The forty prints are offered unframed, priced at £600 for a series of any three prints, or £260 for one print. Quotes for other quantities are available upon request. Price includes printing, packaging and postage.

The title of each print is Forty Steps In The River Bovey, followed by its unique time code reference. For example, a title might read as follows: Forty Steps In The River Bovey 15:09:23’

Print type: Digital ‘C type’ print process, printed onto professional lustre (semi matt) archive quality paper.

The artist’s recommended print size is 30” x 20”. However, other print sizes are available upon request.

Camera equipment used was a Canon 5D mark iv back with a Canon EF 100-400mm lens

Each limited edition print will be signed by the artist on its reverse side and supplied with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Upon request, each buyer will be sent a sound recording of water flowing over the medieval weir at the River Bovey, Devon, recorded whilst photographing the Forty Steps In The River Bovey collection.

The limited edition prints are sold unframed as many people prefer to choose their own style of frame and type of glass. However, if required, framing styles and glass can be recommended.  Quotes for framing can also be provided upon request.

Below are low resolution copies of the Forty Steps In The River Bovey limited edition prints.  To make an appointment to discuss your requirements, please email: reflectingnature32@gmail.com

Low resolution copies of the FORTY STEPS IN THE RIVER BOVEY collection

A new and exciting charity

Hello, I am Mark Ware and I’m the founder and co-director of this new and exciting charity called Reflecting Nature in art & science.

Why have I set up the charity?

The answer to this question stems back to when I had a severe stroke in 1996, aged 39.  After enjoying a successful fine art and commercial art career in the UK and USA, my world was abruptly changed by my brain injury.  It affected almost every aspect of the way in which I navigate and negotiate the world around me. This life-changing event happened when the vitally important Stroke Association charity was in its infancy and so stroke awareness wasn’t great.  I remember feeling very confused by it all, not certain whether I would continue to live, or whether I would die. Strangely, the experience was peaceful in many ways.  The stroke made me realise that I wasn’t as important as I thought I was, but that I was significant.  Above all, I became aware of my vulnerability and how connected I am to the world around me.  I became aware of what we share, as opposed to the things that make us different.

This idealistic sentiment of positive, inclusive connectedness is certainly a foundation of both my art since my stroke, and the charity. Especially recently, where we have witnessed a rise in the language of division, with talk of ‘them and us’ – language that embraces intolerance – I feel it is of utmost importance that we offer a very different message through the work of the charity; a message that supports collaboration, inclusion, tolerance, the sharing of ideas and the desire to help protect the natural environment.

The impact of the natural environment is the central focus of the charity’s work.  Photo: Mark Ware

The experience of the stroke influenced the direction and content of my art in more direct ways, too.  Since that time, I have become increasingly interested in my altered subjective experiences caused by brain injury.  This has led to my collaborations with neuroscientists and psychologists, supported by Arts Council England.  At the centre of these collaborations – up until now under the header ‘the Wavelength Project’- has been a focus on the great impact that the natural environment has on wellbeing and health and, in turn, the urgent need to protect and nurture this wonderful planet we live on.

The Reflecting Nature in art & science charity is the next step, building on the successful outcomes of the Wavelength Project. These outcomes have included neuroscience investigations into the benefits of exposure to natural sounds, which were published in a Science Report paper earlier this year.  Other successes included the Reflecting Nature art science collaboration with psychologists at Staffordshire University that featured a national touring exhibition and public engagement activities, that were experienced by over 90,000 people.  Its purpose was to explore ways in which art influenced by nature can be used to improve health and wellbeing, and to help vulnerable people in environments where sensory monotony is an issue (such as in hospitals).

I feel incredibly passionate about, and proud of, what we have achieved so far through the Wavelength Project.  With the support of a wonderfully talented Board of Trustees and Patron, I believe that we will be able to continue to make great progress with this work through our charity.

For more information about our art science collaborations so far, please click on the links:

New Scientist

Arts Council England

The Psychologist

Disability Arts Online