*Himalayan Travels, an exhibition of paintings by retired British army officer, Mark D. Vickers in Taiwan/
*His future projects will portray Taiwan and Albania. “I have two main plans for the next year. Firstly I want to do more paintings around the beautiful and varied island of Taiwan – thus far I have only done a couple. But secondly, I have a very deep feeling for Albania and the Albanian people and I have now started the first of what will be a series of paintings about that fascinating Balkan country. I am also discussing with an Albanian poet/author friend of mine, Mr Riza Lahi, a combined project of his poems and my paintings,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Vickers./
Presenting one of his greatest artistic collections, Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Mark D. Vickers will be available throughout the month of August in an exhibition of paintings entitled “Himalayan Travels”. The exhibition is being held at Y.Y.Chou Coffee in Yangmei, Taoyuan County, Taiwan. Y.Y.Chou Coffee is a very popular restaurant which opens each lunchtime and evening except Mondays (for info call 00886 (0)3 431 3260). The exhibition will continue until 31 August 2013.
The carefully selected exhibition features 16 paintings which take the viewer on a journey through the beautiful Himalayas, especially Nepal. Some are painted in oil paint and others in acrylic. The subject matter ranges from mountainous landscapes to village folk, a marijuana smoking holy-man, and even an oil painting of “Kumari” – a young living goddess.
Thoughtfully the artist has included descriptions about each painting and these greatly help the viewer in understanding the reason why that particular subject has been depicted. Some of these descriptions are simply to inform the viewer about the subject, for example who the “Kumari” is, without which those who have not had the opportunity to travel in Nepal might not fully appreciate what is being depicted. Others however give a hint at the artist’s deeper thoughts. One example of this is the description which accompanies one painting entitled “Overcast Day – West Nepal”
“I had enjoyed a hard day’s trek when I saw this scene. It had rained almost non-stop for a couple of days and whilst I found the scene beautiful the adverse weather somehow made the remoteness even starker. The only sound came from the river of cold Himalayan water rushing past, and that made me think of life passing so quickly by and how we mustn’t waste what time we have – who knows when the end will come. The longest journey is the journey inwards, of him who has chosen his destiny, who has started upon his quest, for the source of his being.”
The talented artist Mark D. Vickers explained he found inspiration for his paintings in the amazing landscape and the people he met in his travels: “During my career in the British army I had the opportunity to travel quite widely. My last 7 years were spent with 3 years in Albania and then 3 years in Nepal, before ending my career with an operational tour of Afghanistan. Whilst in Nepal I was fortunate to be able to trek through the Himalayan foothills. My inspiration for this series of paintings therefore was to share some of my experiences, both of the amazing landscapes of Nepal and of some of the people I met. I hope that visitors to the exhibition will also read my written explanations and that these will help them to enjoy the pictures more.”
Interestingly Lieutenant Colonel Vickers has promised to give all profit from any sale to charity. “I always wanted to be an artist, but I have a romantic idea about art: “art for art’s sake”. In other words, I want to paint what inspires me, and each and every painting has a little piece of me in it….I paint with my heart. Yet, whilst I have no interest simply to paint what I think might sell, my dream is that some people will “connect” with my art and wish to own something I have done, and then I wish that I can donate that money to charity. So in effect the purchaser will be giving to charity whilst at the same time owning something that means something to them, something they will enjoy, something that “speaks” to them. Perhaps some people do not have the money available to purchase a painting, but if through looking at my work they have gained something positive, then that is ok too. My first solo exhibition was in Kathmandu in 2011 and I sold 15 paintings, and the profit from those sales was given to a local orphanage. So that is my dream!”
His future projects will portray Taiwan and Albania. “I have two main plans for the next year. Firstly I want to do more paintings around the beautiful and varied island of Taiwan – thus far I have only done a couple. But secondly, I have a very deep feeling for Albania and the Albanian people and I have now started the first of what will be a series of paintings about that fascinating Balkan country. I am also discussing with an Albanian poet/author friend of mine, Mr Riza Lahi, a combined project of his poems and my paintings,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Vickers.