Mark Bletcher's paintings describe encounters with magical realism. They are informed by his continued investigations into painting's ability to explore expanded perception as way to consider the emotional, metaphorical, and remembered worlds within realism. This approach is inspired magical realist authors, but also reflects a response to contemporary painting practice. His paintings show the development of a visual language that appears both biographical and fantastical. Anxious shapes, curious creatures and strange objects scatter domestic spaces staged within the work. Sometimes these characters find themselves flanked by looming figures that watch and meddle. The subjects depicted in his paintings reference art history, myths, literature, and contemporary culture but also appear personal as they become sublimated into a domestic situation. Mark’s work is both unnerving in its esoteric strangeness but also earnestly affectionate, lending the work a dark but dreamy atmosphere in which things can hide.  

Since graduating from Newcastle University in 2019 Mark Bletcher has been awarded the Final Year Achievement Prize for outstanding academic achievement from Newcastle University and the Gwen May Recent Graduate Award from The Royal Society for Painter-Printmakers. He was also shortlisted for the Woon Foundation prize, FBA Futures and the Contemporary Young Artist Award. In 2020 he co-founded Minutes Exchange in response to the pandemic as a platform to create connections between artists and raises funds for various charities. Recently, his work has been featured in shows including 'Three's a Crowd' at Gallagher and Turner; and 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere: Painting in the North East. Now.' at Newcastle Contemporary Art gallery. He is currently a member of Newbridge Studios in Newcastle, where he lives and works. 

If you wish to purchase artwork by Mark Bletcher they can be found at various galleries in the UK, or online at Newblood Art. 

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2020 This Feels Like an Omen, System Gallery, Newcastle (with Oliver Hoffmeister)

2019 'SHOW', The Story Institute, Lancaster (with Abi Hampsey)

2018 As Earnest as I Can Be, The Holy Biscuit, Newcastle

2018 Magic Memory, O what can I recall, Newcastle University, Newcastle


2022 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere: Painting in the North East. Now, Newcastle Contemporary Art, Newcastle.

2022 Overlay, Owlstore, Harrogate.

2022 Three's A Crowd, Gallager and Turner, Newcastle

2021 Friends With Benefits, Safe House 1, London

2020 Bankside Gallery Summer Show, Bankside Gallery, London

2020 The London Print Fair, The Royal Academy, London (Moved Online)

2020 Biscuit Factory Summer Open, The Biscuit Factory Gallery, Newcastle

2020 Futures 2020, Mall Galleries, London

2019 Breeze Creative Group Show, Breeze, Newcastle

2019 Open Exhibition, Gallagher and Turner, Newcastle

2019 The Woon Foundation Prize, Baltic 39, Newcastle

2019 NCL London Show, Copeland Park, London

2019 Derby Print Open, Banks Mill Studios, Derby

2019 Newcastle Degree Show, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

2018 Jane Doe Festival XL Gallery, Newcastle


The Future of Painting Is Here, and It’s Weird As Hell, Elephant Magazine

Introducing the RE’s newest members, Printmaking Today Spring 2020


2019 Graduate, BA Fine Art, Newcastle University.

Awards / Funding

Awarded The Royal Society for Painter-Printmaker Gwen May Recent Graduate Award.

Received the Final Year Achievement Prize for outstanding academic achievement at
Newcastle University.

Shortlisted for The Young Contemporary Artist Award.

Shortlisted for The Woon Art and Sculpture Prize.

Using Format