The imagination of Mark Jenkins

“In 2003, bored after a day in the classroom, he made a ball out of clear tape to toss around. It was a medium he discovered in a grade-school homeroom 20 years before, when he covered a marker in plastic wrap and tape, made an incision and removed the marker. He was so impressed by the near-perfect transparent mold that he wrapped his whole hand before the teacher could scold him for wasting… . He went on to wrap everything in [his] apartment – every pot, pan, even the toilet. His apartment started to reek of the oniony, plastic whiff of the backside of a piece of cheap tape." (source: WashingtonPost.com.)

Not all creative ideas start fresh in the mind during grade-school, but for Mark Jenkins, this one did. After Mark had taped up everything from his apartment toilet and kitchen sink, he started taping up the only thing left to cover in tape: himself. It was at this point that Mark realized the full potential of his imagination, real world items, and clear packing tape: Tape Sculpture.

To you or me, tape is something used to hold together broken things, or make pig-nosed faces, or attach art to the fridge. To Mark Jenkins, tape has become a creative outlet; an inspiring, real-world art tool.

Mark doesn’t confine his creativity to just sticky tape, though. He has other “installations” that inspire creativity and make everyone who views them stop and think. His most recent, “Signs of Spring”, can easily be defined as: different. And it is these types of different uses of everyday items that everyone should be thinking up.

Imagine taking an item sitting next to you (or possibly on you. Or even YOU) and tweaking it into art. Creating a mold from tape, adding a paper leaf to it, a touch of color, something. Don’t limit your ideas to what you are taught. Tape is no longer just “tape”, it’s the perfect way to create a creative cast of anything you want. No longer are street signs just street signs, they are giant flowers growing beside our city streets.

Mark Jenkins has used his imagination to create incredible real-world art, you can do the same.