Sunday, 30 July 2017


“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” - Lord Byron 

Mark Hearld was born in York in 1974. He studied Illustration at Glasgow School of Art from 1994-97 and went on to the Royal College of Art to study for an MA in Natural History Illustration. A fascination with animals and plants lies at the heart of Mark’s work. Hen runs, pigeon lofts and foxes appear often. Mark’s main inspiration is Picasso but he also greatly admires the work of Bawden, Ravilious and Piper from the 1930s - and the Neo-Romantic artist/illustrators of the 40s and 50s, Keith Vaughn and Craxton - something to do with their English particularity of vision, perhaps...

Hearld’s love of the British countryside, curiosity for objects and a magpie approach to collecting inspires his art. He is well known for his brightly coloured collages and lithographic prints; hand-painted wooden animals; three-dimensional, hand-decorated ceramics; collages in hand-painted frames, lino-cuts, and litho prints. His work is now exhibited all over the UK and commissions include set design for 2005 film Nanny McPhee and a range of ceramics for Tate. Hearld works closely with skilled craftsmen to realise his ideas, using Curwen Studio in Cambridge to make litho prints and Daniel Bugg at Penfold Press, Selby to produce linocuts.

Hearld has worked as a book illustrator, including Nicola Davies’ “Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature” (February 14, 2012); and has also written/illustrated his own “Mark Hearld’s Workbook” (January 15, 2013). Various other projects include his work with the Tate Gallery to produce a range of homewares, textiles and ceramics, as well as designs for a range of fabrics and wallpapers for the St. Jude’s Company.

The image above is his “Marine Life” from 2009, created for the exhibition “A Magpie Eye” at the Scarborough Art Gallery. Hearld is inspired by the joys of fishmongery, but also the precision of the scientific illustrator, inspired party from his real life observations, but also from antique natural history prints of 19th century zoologist Phillip Gosse (1854).

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