Mark Coombe’s experience around cattle and horses infuses a relatable authenticity into his paintings.

Story + Photo Mandy McKeesick

Energy emanates from Chaos. Two white Brahman bulls fight, dogs bark, men yell, stockwhips crack, horses prop and dust rises. In an oil painting, Mark Coombe has captured a moment familiar to all who have worked stock with horses. Those with their boots on the land see authenticity in Mark’s work, from bridle detail to the seated pose of a horseman, and to Chaos they can relate.

Chaos will underpin Mark’s upcoming exhibition in May at Beef Australia 24 in his hometown of Rockhampton in Central Queensland. He grew up in this region, riding horses, as his father managed Waverley station for Stanbroke Pastoral Company, 200km to the north. In the late 1980s and 1990s, Mark worked on stock camps across Queensland, more often than not aiming a camera at the action around him.

This story excerpt is from Issue #153

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2024