Mark Cross
Mark Cross - Contemporary Realist Artwork


TERRA SARCOMA – 1997-98 – Oil on Canvas – 285 x 190 cm (Sold)

TERRA SARCOMA – 1997-98 – Oil on Canvas – 285 x 190 cm

The thought of doing a large multi figure painting came to me after seeing an exhibition of the Spanish photographer Sabastio Salgado and in particular his stunning images of multitudes of labourers working in Brazilian gold mines. Carrying these images with me for some time, I came upon in New Zealand, a summer festival where a crowd was digging up the sand in search of buried prizes. This crowd was photographed extensively and used as the basis to the original idea, a drawing of people digging amongst rocks. By this time our daughter had died and it was the understanding of the nature of her particular sarcoma that lead me to my version of the “Cancer of the Earth” idea whereby the rapid reproduction of cancer cells is seen as an analogy to the proliferation of humanity and overpopulation of the Earth. After returning to Niue and noting the many bone filled burial caves there, the exchange of rocks for bones gave an added significance to the idea, especially in light of sarcoma most often (but not in Mishca’s case) being a bone disease. This all being rather pessimistic I felt a need to inject the work with an anomalistic element of hope and so the naked figure on the right was introduced for this purpose in lieu of a newborn baby which felt a bit sentimental to me.