Mark Forbes

born 1980, Middlesbrough, England. Lives Melbourne, Australia.


"One of my favourite memories as a child was being in airports and on planes travelling from place to place. It was like we were always going somewhere new and mysterious."

Mark Forbes is best known for his contemplative and atmospheric documentary photography of street scenes, urban landscapes and structures. He employs film as his medium of choice for personal documentary work - using predominantly traditional medium format cameras.

Forbes' approach to photography comes from an underlying fascination with people and their interaction with the environment. He has an uncanny knack of capturing the layers of beauty that exist everywhere around us. "I am an avid people watcher. When I'm out in the street, or even just day to day, I'm constantly seeing beautiful and interesting images and stories in my head.”

Drawn to a documentary style of photography, he visited Fukushima in 2016 to photograph the rehabilitation of the area and assist in telling the stories of people devastated by the unprecedented events of 2011.   

Forbes' photographs have been exhibited throughout Australia at both commercial and public galleries, including the Monash Gallery of Art, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Perth Centre for Photography, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie, Caloundra Regional Gallery, Montsalvat, Tweed Regional Gallery, Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Manly Art Gallery, Bayside Gallery, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Lethbridge Gallery, Wyndham Art Gallery, Victorian Archive Gallery and the Stanley Street Gallery.

He was the winner of The Gomma Grant 2019 (best colour photograph), the winner of the OptiKA Photographic Award 2020, the runner up in the 2021 Head On Portrait Award and has been a finalist in many renowned Art Prizes including the Blake Prize, Olive Cotton Award, Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art, CLIP Award, the Lake Art Prize, Footscray Art Prize, Mullins Conceptual Photography Prize, Lethbridge Landscape Award, Lethbridge Art Award, Wyndham Art Prize, Photo Lucida Critical Mass and the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize (semi finalist). His portraiture has also featured in multiple editions of the British Journal of Photography's Portrait of Humanity monographs.

Forbes is a contributor for The New York Times. While commercially his photographic style has led to shooting for many brands including Samsung, Expedia, Mercedes Benz & Jaguar. He is available for assignments & commissions, and his limited edition prints are held in public and private collections, in Australia and internationally.

"I love the ability that photography gives me to tell a story. Especially when that story has a connection to the world that we live in."

As an artist born overseas and practicing in Australia, I acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.

© 2021 Mark Forbes.
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