Mark takes on commissions for Architects, Agencies or other individuals and contracts to the film industry. From conception, through design and draughting, CNC drawings for cutting (and bending), and finally assembly of the finished work; Mark has vast experience in a wide range of projects. He is an original, with an inventive and creative mind and is normally involved in a project from conception to finished product. He is based in Cape Town.
In the film industry Mark brings working experience in construction, special effects and set design to the table. He is often called upon to produce ‘build ready’ and/or ‘virtual reality ready’ models from design concepts. He is highly proficient in working with ‘Sketchup’ for 3D visualisation, conception and honing the design details; and with ‘Fusion 360’ for complex ‘in motion’ design details, for construction drawings and for CNC machining of components.
Mark is an open minded and respectful team player. As a leader he is quick to realise individuals strengths, is happy to share his knowledge and likes to make people responsible, to challenge and bring out the best of an individual.
CAREER SUMMARYMark was awarded a scholarship to study a BSc in Electrical Engineering (University of Witwatersrand) and then worked in Mining (for Anglo American), a couple of years as a Software Design Engineer (for Teklogic) and later in Research (for the Energy Development Research Centre, University of Cape Town). It was a troubled time in South Africa and Mark was restless in his early career: He studied arts in his free time, travelled widely in Southern Africa and made artworks prolifically and with experimental freedom.
In 1994 he began working with a Dutch theatre group called Dogtroep and later with Warner & Consorten, where he found vision for site specific work in theatre and Architecture. To express this work Mark founded the Odd Enjinears, deliberately misspelling the word Engineer because we were not conventional Engineers.
Initially Odd Enjinears made site specific productions with curious technology and invented musical instruments; making highly successful shows in for example a BlackSmith Forge (Cape Town), an old power station (Grahamstown), or, in a dungeon in a castle (Cape Town). For each project they would put together an inventive team, responding to the particular opportunities of each location and approaching technology with the creative instincts of artists. They reinvented theatre using no words with a unique blend of sculpture, music, machines and performance; approaching technology with the creative instincts of artists. Odd projects afforded the team the opportunity to experiment and try-out ideas. Odd Enjinears went on to play all the major arts festivals in South Africa, and a tour of Dutch festivals in 2000/2001.
Under the name Odd Enjinears, Mark went on to win a variety of competitions and commissions for a range of public and private works; music machines, water driven ‘machines’ and children’s play structures. He worked with advertising agencies to realise unique, once-off displays with a ‘wow factor’ being the primary goal for a particular clients vision; he contributed the ‘wow factor’ to the Cape Town display for the national flower show for five years running and he worked with shopping centres, making sculptural ‘machines’ for specific events or for permanent public attractions. What most of these works have in common is that they are in motion. As an individual, Mark has also contributed paintings and sculpture works to a number of galleries and curated group shows.
As a socially conscious person Mark has worked with Cascoland and the Theatre Embassy (Netherlands based groups) in South Africa and Peru on what is called “social intervention projects”: These are projects with a stated social intention; those people who walk on a dangerous highway (in Durban) need to be made aware of alternatives; or, those two conflicting groups of people (in Tacna, Peru) need an opportunity to interact, to give a couple of examples.
More recently Mark won the tender for the Khayelitsha Hospital Artworks project; a unique and pioneering project in which all Artworks adorning the hospital were produced through workshops with local artists and people involved in the construction of the hospital. Following this, he took on the job of director of Greatmore Studios Trust, working with a staff, artists and arts outreach programs to further the careers of South African artists.
In 2017 Mark returned to his own work with determined relief. He currently juxtaposes periods of intense focus on art making with working in the film industry with experience in set construction, special effects, set design and specialist fabrication.
Please view many works mentioned in this document on www.markodonovan.co.za