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Mythagraphs are large-scale acrylic paintings derived from sources both primordial and contemporary, says Mark Sirdevan, the artist and an art conservator:

“There is a metaphorical overlap in the two practices and both require creativity and imagination. They rejoin lost cultural history and deep personal values through intimate contact with existing images and materials. My own work takes me back through the history of image making to ancient sources of creativity.”

I have had a long term interest in Asian painting. When I was ten years old my father brought home ink paintings from China and Japan, which i copied in charcoal. I loved the simplicity of expression.

Years later I learned of the concept in Chinese painting of Xie Yi. It means literally to write down in a painted image one's feelings and ideas.

For my current series of paintings, Mythograph Painting Series, I have reinterpreted that concept to create images that move painting and writing closer together as in hieroglyphs, pictographs, petroglyphs and ideograms. I make use of the indexical sign, an intermediate sign between the iconic and the written word. This involves the use of stamps, prints, transfers, projected images and stencils. The pointing aspect of the index is similar to the suggestiveness in Xie Yi paintings. To get closer to the spontaneity of the Chinese paintings I use chance operations in the form of a deck of images cards that I have created. This serves as a source to generate images.

Mythagraphs Statement 2016