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.”
Forbes' debut monograph Collected memories was published by the German publisher Hatje Cantz in 2023. Shortly after printing, a book signing event was held at Paris Photo 2023.
His photographs have been exhibited at solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia at both public and commercial galleries. His work has been shown at the Museum of Australian Photography, Bayside Gallery, Billilla Historic Mansion, Caloundra Regional Gallery, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Lethbridge Gallery, Perth Centre for Photography, Manly Art Gallery, Montsalvat, Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie, Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Stanley Street Gallery, Tweed Regional Gallery, Victorian Archive Gallery and the Wyndham Art 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, 2nd place in the IPA 2022 awards in the Analog Fine Art category 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). Forbes' portraiture has featured in multiple editions of the British Journal of Photography's Portrait of Humanity monographs. His images also featured at Leica HQ in Wetzlar during the M6 launch event as part of their 'Celebration of Photography'.
Forbes is a contributor for The New York Times. 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.