Announcement: Mark Essen selected for Building as Material ll residency

Mark Essen

The Building as Material II

11 June – 26 August 2018

Artists’ Studio


To mark The New Art Gallery Walsall’s 18th birthday in 2018, the Gallery invited proposals from West Midlands-based artists in response to the theme: The Building as Material.


Mark Essen, hyperbolic hypnotic hyperbole, 2018. Commissioned for 3-Phase, a partnership between Jerwood Charitable Foundation, WORKPLACE and Eastside Projects. Photo: John Mckenzie


Following this Open Call, Birmingham-based artist Mark Essen has been selected to develop a new body of work from the Artists’ Studio, taking terracotta, a clay-based ceramic material used in the building, as his point of departure. During his residency, Mark will explore the relationship of clay to Walsall, researching local buildings and the contemporary use of clay in Walsall-made ceramics as well as the history of brick making in the area. Mark will make various brick and tile designs, inviting the public inside the studio to explore his raw materials.


Mark Essen (b. Reigate, UK) studied at Birmingham City University before completing an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2014. He was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2013 and has exhibited widely in the UK, including Workplace, Gateshead; Hauser & Wirth, Somerset; Tate St Ives, and Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge. In 2017, Mark set up Modern Clay, a socially-engaged ceramics studio in Birmingham, which aims to remove perceived boundaries between fine and applied arts and crafts.

by Chris Wilkinson

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