Shared Emotions | Mark Vessey

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Mark Vessey was asked by Norman Cook (Fat Boy Slim) to photograph his own personal collection of Smiles, as part of an exhibition curated by the DJ. This then led Mark to photograph a selection of Norman Cook’s vinyl collection which has been a significant influence for his DJ career. The edition sold out in record time for Mark Vessey.


Mark Vessey is a Brighton based photographer whose work is inspired by the idea of creating art from collections of everyday objects. He spends his life searching for that elusive edition of a magazine; that one book that will make his collection complete. He explores every facet of them with an intensity that only a collector can.  His ongoing body of work is called Collections. It takes inspiration from Vessey’s love of vintage magazines like The Face and Playboy, as well as ground breaking contemporary titles like Attitude. Vessey also celebrates one of the enduring icons of the publishing world, the Penguin paperback book.

The renowned British photographic artist’s work was not only inspired by creating art from collections of everyday objects. He was also influenced by the work of pop art artist, Andy Warhol which inspired Vessey to study photography at Brighton University.

One of Vessey’s most photographed collection are vinyl records. As vinyl sales continue to grow and be treasured, Mark Vessey celebrates these vintage collections in a series of stunning photographs. Most notoriously photographing Norman Cook’s vinyl collection.

By putting together and capturing through the lens, collections such as magazines, books and vinyl records, it creates a whole new meaning to the objects.

Turner Barnes Gallery are therefore delighted to be hosting the solo exhibition, ‘Shared Emotions’ which will feature some of Vessey’s most iconic works such as the Chanel No.5 bottle and his numerous pieces of vinyl collections from different genres of music.

We would like to shed an artist spotlight on this talented young photographer by allowing our customers to get to know more about him as an artist and his work:


The Interview


What is the story/theme/inspiration/idea behind your work/collection?

My work focuses on collections of everyday objects which I curate and photograph.


What influences your work? E.g. Artists/Movements/certain works/historic time?

My work has been influenced by pop art and iconic objects from the everyday.


What is your favourite type/genre of art?


Pop Art – I’ve always loved the work of Keith Haring and Andy Warhol and how their art was created out of everyday objects.


What does art mean to you and did it influence you to make art a professional vocation?

Art to me is something that visually draws my attention, has an emotional impact and makes me question the world around me.

I always wanted to work in a creative profession and fell in love with photography as a medium. I was able to use my camera to explore and communicate objects the I had an emotional connection too.


How has your work grown since you started out as an artist?

I started exploring everyday objects that were important to me, now my work has moved on to capturing collections that are important to other people and exploring the emotion relationships people have to objects and their shared histories.


Mark Vessey insitu


What do you feel makes your style of work unique?

I believe my work relates to myself and others as we all have shared emotions to objects we love and treasure.


What type of art do you dislike and why?

We all have our own tastes and my taste is more drawn to modern pop art, so I struggle with overly pretty and fussy work. I love simplicity in art with a big impact, but everyone has a different response to art which makes the world such an exciting place to be.


What has been your biggest achievement in the art world?

In the last year a big achievement has been exhibiting my work in America. Also, my collaboration with Norman Cook in which I photographed the vinyl that had the biggest impact to him from his own collection.


Has anyone famous bought your work?

I’m so lucky to have people interested in my work from all walks of life. Most recently my collaboration with Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim was exciting and he now has a piece of my work on his living room wall – something I am very proud of.


What can we expect to see in the future?

I want to continue to explore archives of collections of books, vinyl, clothes and objects we have emotional connections too and bring them to people’s attention through my work. I’d like to work more on larger scales.


What quote/word sums up your art work?

“It’s that emotional attachment to tangible objects that I find really interesting,” Mark Vessey – The Guardian


Tell us about your creative process; how do your works come into creation? Where do you begin?  Do you envisage the final outcome from the start or is the process more of a journey?


My process starts with researching the subject that I am working on. With ‘Funk and Soul’ I spoke DJ’s that had vinyl collections and leant about the genre. I also searched second hand vinyl shops, and the internet for the right albums. For me the spine is so important and I will buy the same album over and over again in order to get the right spine. Curating each collection with how the spines sit together and the balance of colour.


The ‘Shared Emotions’ exhibition will be held at our Shenfield gallery from 22nd February until 14th March.


Contact us for any further information.