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Tim Mara, Power Cuts Imminent, 1975
Tim Mara Artist's Alphabet

S, T and U > U: University & School Education back | start | next |

back to the alphabet grid From the age of eleven Tim attended St Joseph's College in Beulah Hill, South London, until he was seventeen. Whilst there he had begun to develop an interest in art and had started to produce modernist sculpture in the mode of Henry Moore and Anthony Caro. He was inspired here by his art teacher Barry Robinson. He said of his art teachers there that "compared with all of the other teachers they seemed to be in touch with the world and all credit to the Head of Department who used to make sure that we got these people (i.e. Professional Artists) in to do sculpture with us". The students here organized weekend visits to Galleries and also to an open-air sculpture exhibition in Battersea Park, which included work by Anthony Caro, Philip King and Roland Piche amongst others. Tim was so influenced by this show that he began making abstract sculpture back at the school. He said of this activity "I loved making them and wanted to do it forever".

On leaving school he rejected the path of an academic degree and chose to work in advertising buying time in television and space in newspapers for the London Press Exchange in St Martin's Lane. He left after one year due to boredom and a need to continue to learn and a desire to make more sculpture.

He obtained a place on the foundation course at the Epson and Ewell School of Art which he thought was "fantastic". He attended this course for two years from 1968 until 1970 where he was taught by, amongst others, Mike Peel, (who later became his Colleague when Tim was appointed external examiner at Central/St Martin's College of Art where Mike was then head of printmaking). Here he expanded his artistic interest and vocabulary and experimented with various processes and developed an attachment and knowledge of photographic line work and a passion for film.

From 1970-1973 he attended his undergraduate degree course at Wolverhampton Art College where he combined his interests in sculpture, photography, prop-making and film directorship and started to make printed works produced in silkscreen such as 'Mirror Man', 1979 and the picnic series, all in a narrative vien.

Whilst here Tim's work entered a stage of crisis and he became frustrated by his own lack of creative authorship. He said of his experience:

"I was fed up with doing problem solving projects - they were fairly well resolved, but who wants to solve the staff's problems anyway? Patrick Hughes was my Tutor and was right to call my bluff. He said, you don't have to do projects anymore, get on with being an Artist in your own right, let's see what you can do. I just put all my resources together and had a sense of wanting to be narrative".

Under the tutelage of other artist teachers such as Don Bessant and Jim Chappin, he enjoyed much success, recognised by winning both the prestigious Stowells Trophy and The British Airways Award during his time as a student there. He continued to produce ambitious complex print works, which would form the bulk of his portfolio for his successful application to the postgraduate course in printmaking at The Royal College of Art where he studied between 1973-76.

Here Tim was taught under the Professorship of Alistair Grant and influential tutors such as Alf Dunn and Richard Wentworth. He also met the Artist Eduardo Paolozzi who was an important influence on and supporter of Tim's art.

He obtained his Masters Degree in July 1976, but did not collect it as he refused to attend the college's convocation ceremony as he objected to what he saw as corruption in the examination procedure and the unfairly preferential treatment of certain graduating students. Upon leaving Tim was awarded the major traveling scholarship by the College which he used to travel to New York (click on 'N' for details).

© Text: Mark Hampson / Images: Belinda Mara
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