Berkeley Artist In Residence – Supplies? From the Beach

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Mark Olivier, blue poodle, yellow elephant.

Mark has always been artistic, but it was only after walking his dog down a filthy beach that he realized he could help clean up trash and utilize his creativity at the same time. Without any formal artistic training, but with a working knowledge of botany, anatomy, and physiology, Mark started creating sculptures out of the trash he picked up from the beach. Although Mark’s art depends on the waste of our society, he claims there is no message. “I just sort of fell into it,” he says, “but now I can’t stop. I get lost in the process. I get a great deal of pleasure out of it. What I build always changes. I like doing stuff with my hands, like construction and ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging.”

Mark Olivier’s Beach Art

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The inspiration for latest project.

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Walking along the pavement this afternoon we came upon the most remarkable front garden full of sculptures made from beach combing picked up on East Bay beaches. A chap came tumbling out of his house and shook hands with my companion. They had met before. He shook my hand too. Come back and see my current projects he said. Mark is a remarkable man, creating remarkable art. With flare and humour. See Mark’s website.

What a likable man. A full time carpenter with a full time hobby. Wonderful to meet him. A person with a passion to create and to share. And to encourage a chuckle. Now I wish I’d taken a picture of his chuckling mask.

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