Mark Bletcher's art is dream-like. Anxious shapes, curious creatures and strange objects scatter domestic spaces staged within the work. Sometimes looming figures watch and meddle. There seems to be a narrative but it is obscured. We only have a fragment of the story.
Inspired by a magical realist approach, Bletcher's paintings depict moments in time though a subjective and imperfect lens, challenging our assumptions about objectivity and perception in representational art. His paintings leave room for the audience in their cryptic roughness and invite them to play their own narrative games and to take part in a pattern of escapism.
Mark Bletcher (b.1995, Derby) currently lives and works in Newcastle Upon Tyne. After graduating from Newcastle University in 2019 he has been recognised for his achievements in paintings and printmaking with multiple awards, including The Gwen May Recent Graduate Award from The Royal Society for Painter-Printmakers, Newcastle University's prize for outstanding academic achievements, and the Catherine Cookson Foundation ‘Connecting Print Studios’ print bursary. 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. Mark also regularly teaches painting, drawing and print.
2018 As Earnest as I Can Be, The Holy Biscuit, Newcastle
2018 Magic Memory, O what can I recall, Newcastle University, Newcastle
2020 This Feels Like an Omen, System Gallery, Newcastle (with Oliver Hoffmeister)
2019 'SHOW', The Story Institute, Lancaster (with Abi Hampsey)
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
Residences / Awards
2022 Catherine Cookson Foundation ‘Connecting Print Studios’ print bursary with Northern Print with Newcastle University’s Institute of Creative Arts Practice
2020 The Royal Society for Painter-Printmaker Gwen May Recent Graduate Award.
2020 The Young Contemporary Artist Award. (Shortlisted)
2020 The Woon Art and Sculpture Prize. (Shortlisted)
2019 The Final Year Achievement Prize for outstanding academic achievement at Newcastle University.
2015-2019 Newcastle University, BA Fine Art.
Press / Publications
2020 The Future of Painting Is Here, and It’s Weird As Hell, Elephant Magazine
2020 Introducing the RE’s newest members, Printmaking Today Spring 2020
2022 Life Drawing late, Newcastle Arts Centre. Every Wednesday Night.
2022 Contemporary Still life Painting In Oil, Newcastle Arts Centre.
2022 DIY Kitchen Lithography, Newcastle Arts Centre.
2022 Ink and Wash, Newcastle Arts Centre.
2020 Co-Founder and organiser of MINUTES.