Creatabot is a project that connects, promotes and supports creativity. Based in Medway, UK. Additional projects include CreataboX and Urban Medway.
The amount of creativity Medway has to offer still amazes me and it was refreshing to meet another artist who fits so well with the ethos of Creatabot. I had seen Mark Richmond’s work at the Nucleus arts shop in Rochester, but had not met the person behind the work until recently when I went to find out more about him.
Marks father, Michael, was a carpenter who owned Kent Joinery in Cuxton and restored a house in South Green over a 12 year period. Often being in these surroundings and seeing his father at work was a strong influence on Marks creativity. As well as making wooden carvings and sculptures other artistic talents include painting, sketching and working in the band “Saferoom Studio“. It was through working in the band that Mark met other local creatives who were involved in Nucleus artist studios.
Mark was also commissioned to help create buildings within “Dickens World” at Chatham Maritime. “I had a friend that was working there and he told me they needed a carpenter. I was helping out with general work and then one day someone just said to me “we want you to build a house here please”. I loved it, being able to build such a structure from scratch was brilliant” Mark told me.
Looking around Marks living room there were many of his unique wood carvings and sculptures. I asked whether like most artists he found it hard to part with his work “I do get used to something I have made being around, but it is nice to pass on my work so that someone else can enjoy it”.
I brought up the controversial subject of how much you charge for creations, something as a creative I realise is always hard to work out. Mark said “when someone asks me how much I charge per hour I say “when I am working fast or slow?” . Because you work at your own pace when your making something and you can’t look at it in pay per hour way”.
I notice that unlike most households the TV isn’t the centre of the room. “Do you watch much TV?” I ask. Mark looks at the TV in a discontent way “There really isn’t much on, I prefer learning, I really like watching TED, there are some great things on there”. I agreed with him and it reminded me how many people don’t realise there are so many more options around now to help you learn new things. I’ve found there is a real connection with creative people and learning, we are inspired by new information and connecting the dots.
Mark made in clear whilst we were talking that he isn’t motivated by making “a quick buck” with his work, and that he genuinely enjoys doing anything artistic. I find it inspiring to be around people who do what they do because they enjoy it and have no ulterior motive. When asked about his future plans, Mark simply says he just wants to carry on making sculptures.
You can see more of Mark Richmonds work at www.uniquewoodcraft.com
By Natasha Steer
Area – South East