Dr Mark Wilsher

Dr Mark Wilsher

I am an artist, educator, critic and curator with a particular expertise in sculpture and the politics of social-engagement. This was the subject of my AHRC-funded doctoral research and also several feature articles for Art Monthly magazine. I work in many media and have exhibited at galleries including the ICA and the Henry Moore Institute. My current research explores the relationship between presence and virtual space, and the sociology of the art world.

My work is based on the belief that art is a social process and takes place in a socially-embedded context in relation to its various audiences. I work in a wide range of media including drawing, sculpture, installation, film, live performance and text, and have also curated other artists’ projects for galleries and public spaces (Artist Boss 2016). Some recent works include temporary collages made from magazine archives in institutional libraries (Gallery Shots 2013-14) and an exhibition curated from living rooms in Colchester (Everybody is an Curator, August 2015). I often use existing images and objects as the basis for my own works, as a way of establishing relationships with the world beyond the studio.

I am currently pursuing research into the sociology of the art world, exploring the structures and rituals that surround and construct fine art from its representation in newspapers to the format of the traditional art school tutorial. I have also written recently about the relationship between sculptural presence and virtual spaces. As an educator I have given papers on methodologies within fine art, the recent emergency shift to digital, and the impossibility of practice-only PhDs.

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2015: Everyone is an Curator, The Minories, Colchester
  • 2013-14: Gallery Shots, Chelsea College of Art, touring to the Royal College of Art, University of the Creative Arts Canterbury, and the University of Brighton
  • 2013: One Night Biographical Retrospective, Queen of Hungary project space, Aylsham
  • 2010: cat. The Yesable Proposition OUTPOST, Norwich
  • 2008 & 2009: Unfinished Business Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, and CHELSEA Space cat.
  • 2005: The History of Sculpture Chapman Gallery, Salford University

Group Exhibitions, Performances & Projects

  • 2020: MK Calling Milton Keynes Gallery
  • 2018: Ecstasy in Norwich Lower Green, Norwich
  • 2017: Public Art Study Day, Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts
  • 2016-17: Artist Boss, New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury
  • 2016: Buffet d’Art Meinblau Projektraum, Kunsthaus Meinblau Berlin, & AmbikaP3 London 
  • 2011: Off the Record Resonance FM, Curated by RCA curating course
  • 2010: Wysing Contemporary: Presents Wysing Arts Centre
  • 2009: Father Figures: Responses to mid-century modernism Leeds Art Gallery
  • 2009: 100 Days: Speakers corner Arnolfini, Bristol
  • 2009: Down at the Bamboo Club Picture This, Spike Island, Bristol
  • 2009: Talk Show ICA, London cat.
  • 2008: A Staged Dissent RADAR at Loughborough University
  • 2007: Peer Esteem Five Years, London
  • 2007: Drawing on Sculpture Leeds Art Gallery cat.
  • 2006: Shibboleth Dilston Grove, London cat.
  • 2006: That’s us / Wild combination Three Colts Gallery, London
  • 2006: 60th Anniversary Show Gimpel Fils, London
  • 2006: After Art School, London Gallery West cat.
  • 2005: EAST International 05 Norwich Gallery cat.
  • 2004: Do Something Floating ip, Manchester, curated by Dave Beech
  • 2004: MacDuff Interiors Jeffrey Charles Gallery, with Jane Simpson

Critical Writing

  • 2021: “Taking the Art School Online”, at Online Education: Responding to a crisis, and more… AMPS and Routledge
  • 2020: The Absence of Presence, Art Monthly no.440
  • 2020: The Phantom Practice-Only Thesis, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice Vol13, No.2
  • 2019: Virtual, and Other Bodies, Art Monthly no.427
  • 2018: “Research or Production? The Problem of Methodology in Fine Art” at The Creative Image, Visual Research Network, University of Manchester
  • 2018: Vincent Fecteau, Art Monthly no.417
  • 2017: Interfaith Charity Shop, Art Monthly no.411 
  • 2016: Artist Boss: Anthony Caro’s studio assistants and issues of legacy in British Sculpture Wunderkammer Press
  • Autumn 2015: Contemporary Art in the News Dandelion Vol 6 no.1
  • 2014: Equal & Opposite (interview with Richard Tuttle) Art Monthly no. 382
  • July/August 2014: Lost & Found Art Monthly no.378
  • September 2013: Archives Digital vs Print Art Monthly no.369
  • July/August 2012: Out of Many, One Art Monthly no.358
  • 2012: Negotiated Text Works The Lead and the Invalid, Banner Repeater
  • 2011: Gillick, Opie, Turnbull (Opie, Gillick) Modern British Sculpture, Royal Academy
  • Nov 2009: Beyond Public Art Art Monthly no.331
  • Sept 2006: Plywood Utopias Feature article, Art Monthly no.299
  • May 2005: Against Explanation Feature article Art Monthly no.286
  • 2005: The Aesthetics of the Text Catalogue essay for About Beauty Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt Berlin
  • Oct 2004: Judgement Call Feature article Art Monthly no.280

Other Activities

2018-present: Director of the East Anglian Fine Art Study Centre

View more of Mark’s work on the NUA Repository

Portrait of Fine Art academic Mark Wilsher in the studios at Norwich University of the Arts
  • Educational Development Coordinator


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