Mark Bletcher's paintings describe encounters with magical realism. They are underpinned by a continued investigation into painting's conceptual and material ability to capture 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 paintings struggle in the 21st century. 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 they 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, at times they even appear sentimental. Many of the images in his work can be found repeated between or within paintings and overtime form a pattern. Mark’s work is conflicting, it is 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. 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. 

For enquires please email: 

Mark Bletcher, Artist CV.


•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.

•Awarded Bartlett funding to publish ‘Minutes’.

•Shortlisted for The Young Contemporary Artist Award.

•Shortlisted for The Woon Art and Sculpture Prize.

•Commissioned for the 10th edition of the Butchers Dog poetry magazine cover.

Solo & Joint Shows

•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

Group Shows

•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

•2018 Interim Show Newcastle University, Newcastle

•2017 Stooge Group show, Cobalt Studios, Newcastle

•2016 Narrative, Newbridge Studios, Newcastle

•2015 Everything Comes from nothing, Lime Street Studios, Newcastle

•2015 Chaka: The Social Exhibition, Vamos Social, 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

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