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Over the past few years, Mark Francis has shifted the focus of his painting to microcosmic and biological imagery. References to spores, cells, sperm, ovae and skin tissue dominate his paintings. This picture belongs to a recent group of works which relate more specifically to genetics and the processes of creation. The photographic origins of the image are evident in the way blurring around the edges of the sperm motif suggest objects moving in and out of focus. However, a counterbalance to the apparent naturalism of the subject is in the controlled patterning across the entire canvas. This inhibits the viewer from reading the image literally, as a view through a microscope.

September 2004