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Ashburton Art Gallery

327 West St

Ashburton | 7700

P | 03 308 1133

E |

Gallery Hours

Open Daily: 10am - 4pm

Wednesday: 10am - 7pm

Closed Good Friday, Anzac Morning and Christmas day



Artist Chat – Mark Soltero

August 25, 2021

Mark Soltero works almost exclusively in a monochromatic palette. His work Cinéma of the Rorschach is currently on display in the foyer of Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum. We miss looking at its sparkly metallic surface and how it subtly changes as the day goes by.

Originally from San Francisco, USA, Mark currently acts as the Head of Visual Arts and Art History at Papanui High School in Christchurch. Mark’s practice embraces drawing, paintings, prints, and photographs which reference his personal history along with the social, cultural, and political landscape of the Postmodernist period.

Like most educators, the Level Four lockdown spanning New Zealand means that Mark is rather busy working from home. In terms of his own artistic practice, Mark has a new series currently underway – or rather new artistic material within the series that he has been investigating for the last decade. The working title for the artworks is Twilight in the Cinéma. The team at Ashburton Art Gallery are delighted to be the first organisation to share images of these works in-progress, and hope our audience is equally thrilled.

Image Credit: Mark Soltero in his studio, working on Twilight in the Cinéma –  The Interior of Zero. Acrylic on panel. Supplied August 2021.


There are five paintings in total so far, with more in the process of being completed. The works are very difficult to photograph due to their reflective nature. They are mercurial artworks, and change form depending on what angel they are viewed from. Of the works, Mark says:

‘[…] they seem to be scattering and fragmenting, there’s a lot of movement, and I’m really liking the figure-ground relationship and the way the space is working in them.’

Image Credit: Mark Soltero’s studio. Supplied August 2021.


Mark will continue his lockdown expanding on Twilight in the Cinéma, and investigating image-making and projection. We look forward to seeing Twilight in the Cinéma evolve and develop. In addition, the Gallery was delighted to host Mark for his Artist Talk, and the Jub Jub session he led, in which stencil art was explored and practiced.

Image Credit: Mark Soltero. Works from Twilight in the Cinéma. Acrylic on panel. Supplied August 2021.