On the Couch with Mark Cuthbertson

Mark Cuthbertson Arts Review On the CouchWho is Mark Cuthbertson?
In a nutshell, I am an artist based in regional Victoria and I have been designing and collaborating works with Back to Back Theatre for the past 19 years, including their latest major work, Lady Eats Apple. We started working together on a film called Film in a Duck in 1997, and we’ve gone on to collaborate on countless other projects since then, including in recent years Soft, Food Court, The Democratic Set and Ganesh Versus The Third Reich.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Pretty much nothing, I’m a kind of a ‘glass half full’ type of person. Life is full of great challenges and rewards in everyday and l feel the path l have taken both personally and professionally has been extremely blessed.

Who inspires you and why?
This is a tough one. I tend to draw inspiration from those around me, both near and far, from friends, artistic colleagues, from those who are able bodied and those who are not. It is an individual’s drive and tenacity that inspires me. Challenging the unknown or simply confronting the day are all even qualities for inspiration.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
As an artist and collaborator, I see my purpose is to challenge, confront our preconceptions, highlight disadvantage, add comment and instigate a vehicle of change.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Well, I don’t really have a favourite holiday destination, other than to say there is so much of the world to see, why would you go back to the same place twice?

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
For me nothing beats a night out on the sticky carpet of the Barwon Club. It has been at the epicentre of the live music scene in Geelong for the past 30 years, and I’ve witnessed some unforgettable nights of kick-ass rock there.

What are you currently reading?
At present, I’m looking at the amazing works of Franz West, simply stunning…

What are you currently listening to?
Currently on high rotation is Gold Class, My Disco, of course Lungfish and anything from Discord discography.

Happiness is?
Happiness for me is simple. I am a designer and maker. Those moments in life when time just disappears is when I’m engrossed in my work, translating designs into reality, pushing the boundary of what can be done and what can’t…

What does the future hold for you?
Well I’m hoping that in the not too distant future I’ll nail several large public sculpture commissions, see more parts of the world touring with Back to Back, and hopefully design and build that dream studio at some point…

Mark is currently designing Back to Back Theatre’s World Premiere production of Lady Eats Apple – presented as part of the 2016 Melbourne Festival at Hamer Hall: 8 – 13 October. For more information, visit: www.backtobacktheatre.com or www.festival.melbourne for details.

Image: Mark Cuthbertson