Degree: BA Fine Art
University: Newcastle University
Graduation Year: 2019
A perspective-altering fusion of reality and magic; we are thrilled to present the orphic artwork of Newcastle Fine Art graduate, Mark Bletcher.
Bletcher’s work is a self-professed symposium of: ’Modern Magical Realism, ’ and his surreal and sophisticated style can be seen running throughout the body of his work. Bletcher cites Japanese author, Haruki Marakami as one of his most significant influences, which is unsurprising when Murakami can be found saying: ’Whatever it is you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting..’ This quote seems to define the prismatic marks made in Bletcher’s work, which continually challenges the routine perceptions of reality in new, unanticipated ways.
Bletcher has developed his own trademark style - when constructing his work, the artist sits his canvases within a wide, flat, wooden frame. A nod to Hodgkins? Certainly akin to the signature, painted frame motif used by Howard Hodgkin in his abstract paintings. Like Hodgkin, Bletcher paints his frames, perhaps in direct reference to the focal subject of his work: magic escaping reality.
Mark Bletcher is an extraordinarily exciting young talent, whom we hope will move you as he has moved us.
Mark Bletcher’s work depicts magical or esoteric imagery in opposition with mundane, but emotionally charged domestic scenes. His diverse visual language is inspired by biographical experiences, such as the five years he spent in Hong Kong as a child, his annual trips to Norway, and his current life in Newcastle. Since childhood he has had an obsession with escapism and fiction: playing games, watching films and eagerly reading. However after discovering Haruki Murakami’s work, he became passionate about ‘Modern Magical Realism’, and began to explore the power of fiction by introducing external narratives into his own memories. He explores these memories though his painting and printmaking practice, preferring slow mediums that allow for associations to develop in the artwork over time – producing bizarre, dreamlike compositions.
2018, Magic Memory, O what can I recall, Newcastle University Long Gallery, Newcastle
2018, As Earnest as I can be, The Holy Biscuit, Newcastle
2019, Derby Print Open, Banks Mill Studios, Derby
2019, Newcastle Degree Show, The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle
2019, Jane Doe Festival, XL Gallery, Newcastle
2018, Interim Show, Newcastle University, Newcastle
2017, Stooge 2, Cobolt Studios, Newcastle
2016, Narrative, Newbridge Studios, Newcastle
2015, Everything Comes from nothing, Lime Street Studios, Newcastle
2015, Chaka: The Social Exhibition, Vamos Social, Newcastle
2018, Winning Proposal for the 10th edition of the Butchers Dog poetry magazine cover
2019, Shortlisted for the Woon Foundation Prize.
2019, Final Year Achievement Prize awarded by Newcastle University