Mark Cazalet


Mark Cazalet

It has been an extraordinary year since I returned from my six-week drawing trip to Kyoto’s Zen Gardens, in October 2019. I thought that the stillness I experienced there would never come again, it had all but dissipated in the business of London life. Then in March 2020 the first Lockdown provided a grim yet perfect opportunity to translate my drawing book images into a larger format. It required a wholly new methodology, beyond the graphic immediacy of inks and pencils used on the spot. Because, although Zen Gardens are sublimely serene, they contain an unexpected dynamism, they dance before the eyes. I found that collage offers the ideal process to layer coloured spaces and textured marks. It is sympathetic to the significant gaps Japanese art leaves between forms; breathing spaces which act as potent rhythmic intervals.  Gluing down preprepared mono-printed tissues, marbled papers and leaves from school primers mimicked the exquisite variation of textures, materials and planted forms I had seen. But the real aim was to achieve the contradictory impression that had often puzzled me; when the stillness begins to dance. 

Originally, I had applied for an artist residency in Tokyo. When I didn’t get it, a friend asked me; why don’t you go anyway? It was a good question. What holds us back from travelling to the places we need to be at, geographically and creatively?  Perhaps it is the fear of solitude, the journeying alone?  Or have artists become too dependent on institutional opportunities to validate our career progress. Artist-in-Residency programmes give us a motive to travel but they can also subtly circumscribe the discoveries of journeying alone. Paul Klee’s frustration with himself in Hammermet in 1914, forced an epiphany about colour that was lifelong. My stay in Kyoto has proved the basis for a wholly new approach to my materials and processes, transforming this dark pandemic period into a profound investigation into the root of my creativity.  Falling back on one’s own resources is so fruitful, even when hard going.  Curiosity to learn more about the great aesthetic traditions of Japan provided the initial fortitude to leap into the unknown, once there it became a daily modus operandi. As you start to walk on the way, the way appears, as Rumi says.

In a distant hill garden a monk, after watching me in silence, told me he had no idea what I was doing. I had to agree with him, however on reflection it seems that was rather the point; to allow myself to get lost. Like asking a singer to perform an unseen score in public, it was an uneven process of false starts, missed opportunities and sudden revelations accompanied by many black bean buns. Most evenings after supper I soaked in silence at various local bathhouses. The rarefied Zen garden encounters needed to be balanced by corporeal steamy indolence. The days settled into a mesmeric pattern held together by lucid dreams of coloured space.  This muddling together of reverie, maps, inks and hot water was an equation that now seems near paradise.

Two unexpected insights from Japan have informed all the other works from the last year.  Another monk, at Ryõan-ji Temple, explained that we should not become obsessed by the age of the stones, exact patterns of raking or even the painstaking thinning of pine needles. The garden is a model that you take away with you; when you meditate elsewhere it will come back to you for you to re-enter.  This is precisely what I hope my art might do for some viewers: a disciplined setting of rhythmic forms that generate an energised state of calmness, a silent joy that hums. The second gift comes from Shunryu Suzuki’s famous epigram of Shoshin: to keep the beginner’s mind.  A directive to make my art as if setting out for the first time, eyes open to new possibilities in the language, apprehensions, layers and sensations.  I am deeply indebted to those far off gardens that beckon me as a state of mind. 


1988-9 – Commonwealth Universities Scholarship: Baroda University, Gujerat State, India

1986-7 – French Consul National Studentship Award: L’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris; awarded one-year residency at the Cite-Internationale-des-Arts, Paris

1983-6 – Falmouth School of Art: BA Fine Art

1982-3 – Chelsea School of Art: foundation course



Solo Exhibitions


2016 – Silent colour Meditation: a great cloud of witnesses, 153 heads, St Edmundsbury Cathedral                                                                  

2015 – Moments of Transformation, Curwen gallery, London

2014 – Too serious to be serious, Lynne Strover Gallery, Cambridge

2012 – The Ocean in a Tree, The Concert Hall Gallery, Snape Maltings, Suffolk

2010 – A Plot of Ground, Jason Hicklin and Mark Cazalet, Beardsmore Gallery, London

2008 – Everyday Epiphany, Beardsmore Gallery, London

Stations of the Cross, Salisbury Cathedral

2006 – Seeing as Beleiving,  Catmose Gallery, Rutland

Holyland, a painted pilgrimage,  Michaelhouse Centre, Cambridge

2005 – Travelling with open eyes, Guildford Cathedral

On Shifting Ground, Images from Palestine & Israel, All Hallows by the Tower, London

2004 – An Egyptian Apocrypha, St Katherine Cree, London

2002 – Bath Rugby Residency Drawings, Museum of Rugby, Twickenham

The Sound of Trees, Six Chapel Row Contemporary Art, Bath

2000 – West London Stations of the Cross, Carden Gallery, Kensal Green Cemetery, London

The Four Quartets, Lady Margret Hall, Oxford University

1998 – Cathedrals of Industry, Museum of London

1996 – Paradoxes and Paradigms, Lichfield Cathedral

1995 – Intangible Worlds, East West Gallery, Blenheim Crescent, London;

1994-6 – The Path to Calvary, Rocket Contemporary Art, Cork Street, London & touring to: The Lincoln Cathedral & Usher Gallery, Winchester Cathedral; Lady Margaret Hall Chapel 

1993 – Pictures out of India, The Nehru Centre, London

1992 – Indian Rhythms, Wycombe Museum Gallery, High Wycombe

Christopher Hull Gallery, London



Selected Group Shows


2015 – Locus, Beardsmore Gallery, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Conversations Prize

(short listed), and The Pastel Society, The Mall Galleries London

2014 – Jerwood Drawing Prize, Derwent Drawing Competition, Discerning Eye, London

Mark Cazalet, Frances Hatch, Jonathan Newdick, Kevis House Gallery, Petworth

2011 – British Art Today, five person group show, Museum Obermunster, Regensburg, Germany

Bite, contemporary print exhibition, and The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

2008 – Islington Art Fair, Modern Works On Paper Art Fair, Chelsea Art Fair London  

2007 – Images for Easter, London Spirituality Centre, St Edmund’s Church, London

Sundaday Times Watercolour Competition 

2006 – Backyard Beauties , Artspace, Southwell

London Now: City of Hell, City of Heaven, Guildhall Art Gallery, London

2005 – Faith, Castle Museum Gallery, Nottingham

2004 – Presence, Images of Christ for the Third millenium, St Pauls Cathedral

Visions of London, Art Space Gallery, London

Seeing Salvation Now, North Light Gallery, Huddersfield

2002 – Falling Leaves, Salisbury Festival, Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

Huntington Art Award Exhibition, Royal College of Art London

Summer in the City, England & Co, London

2001 – National Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London

Nature from Wood, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath

Assembly (Bath Rugby, crowd drawings) South West Arts Residency

2000 – Stations: The New Sacred Art, Blythburgh Church, Suffolk

The Salutation, Nicholas Mynheer, Roger Wagner and Richard Webb, St Andrew’s, Oxford

Blake’s Contemporaries, Scholar Fine Art, London

1999 – Land Marks (3-person show), Jill George Gallery, London

The Light of the World, City of Edinburgh Gallery and Museums

1998 – Royal Over-Seas League Fifteenth Annual Open Exhibition (and Eleventh 1994), London

Cheltenham Open Drawing Exhibition (and 1994), touring show

1997 – Poetry of Place, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, Suffolk

1996 – Art in 8 Northern Churches, + Richard Webb, Tour & Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland Univ

The Discerning Eye (and 1992), Mall Galleries, London

1995 – Third Drawing Show, Jill George Gallery, London

1993 – Images of Christ, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral

1991 – Images of Christ, Albemarle Gallery, London

1990 – Pictures of Passiontide, with Albert Herbert and Richard Webb, St Marylebone Church, 




Publications and Broadcasts


Green Thoughts: the art of Thomas Denny Image Magazine 2015

Opening artist’s eyes, IB Review volume 1 February 2015

Belief, 30minute interview with Joan Bakewell, BBC Radio 3, 2nd Aril 2013 ( available on bbc iplayer)

St George’s day, Sunday: Canon Andrew Shanks, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 25th April 2010

Pevsner Editor to Romford Please! Revd Tom Devonshire-Jones, Church Building, issue 102, Dec 2006

Mark Cazalet, Bianca Fanciullacci, Veritasse, Autumn/Winter 2006

London Now; City of Hell,City of Heaven, London Arts Café Magazine, issue 17, Winter 2005

Economy and Ingenuity at Chelmsford,two new artworks, Peter Judd, Church Building, issue 89, 2005

A very different Picture, Mark Cazalet, The Tablet, 28 January 2005

The Tree of Life, Chelmsford mural unveiled, Peter judd, Arts and Christian Enquiry, No41, January 2005

Faith, Nottingham City Art Galleries, Richard Davey, 2004

A tale of two windows, Leslie Griffiths, Arts and Christian Enquiry, No 39, July 2004

To Golgotha via the Westway, Mark Cazalet, The Tablet, 20 March 2004

An artist makes his pilgrimage, Nicholas Cranfield, The Church Times, 19 March 2004

Mark Cazalet’s Tree of Life, Mireille Gallinou, London Arts Café Magazine, issue 14, Spring/Summer 2004

Artist answers questions; Mark Cazalet, London Arts Café Magazine, issue 12, Spring/Summer 2003 

He painted a path to Calvary, text by Tom Devonshire Jones, Country life, April 17 2003

Refurbishment of the Fraser Chapel, Manchester Cathedral,Church Building, Issue 74, April 2002

Worcester Cathedral–The Millenium Window, text by Mark Cazalet, Church Building, Issue 65, Oct 2002

Stations: The New Sacred Art, text by Canon Revd Richard Davey, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, 2000

Stations of the Cross, Anglia Television interview on Bury St Edmunds Stations project, Easter Day 2000

Salutation, text by David Patterson, St Nicholas Church, 2000

Big Plant, Radio 4 interview on the gasometer paintings, transmitted, Autumn, 1999

The Light of the World, David Patterson (ed), City of Edinburgh Museum and Galleries, 1999

‘The Theological Implications of Christian Boltanski’s Art’, text by Mark Cazalet, Art and Christian Enquiry Bulletin, No. 15, July 1998

‘Sign of the Times’, text by Oliver Bevan, Artists & Illustrators, 135, December 1997

The Power and the Glory, Radio 3 interview, with Revd Dr G. L. Pattison, transmitted Spring 1997

‘The Dilemma of the Religious Artist: The Art of Mark Cazalet’, text by Anna Moszynska, Image, No. 16, Summer 1997

‘The Dialectic Between Art and Faith’, text by Mark Cazalet, Modern Believing, Vol. 137, No. 4, 1996

Mark Cazalet: Intangible Worlds, text by Frances Spalding (East West Gallery exhibition), 1995

The Path to Calvary, text by Frances Makower, lino-cuts by Mark Cazalet, designed and letterpress printed by The Rocket Press, Blewbury, 1994; paperback edition: St Paul’s Publishing, 2000

Mark Cazalet: A New Sacred Art, text by Revd Richard Davey, (The Path to Calvary exhibition), Rocket Contemporary Art, 1994

Images of Christ, Revd Tom Devonshire Jones (ed), St Matthew’s (Northampton) Centenary Art Committee, 1993




The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Birmingham City Library

British Council, Bombay, India

Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte, London

Edward James Foundation, West Dean College

Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

Getty Center, California, USA (The Path to Calvary, book)

Guildhall Art Gallery, London

Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council Collection

Hounslow and Spelthorne Community and Mental Health Service Trust

Indian High Commission, Nehru Centre, London

Kuwait National Collection

Lady Margret Hall, Oxford University

Methodist 20th-Century Art Collection

Msheireb Properties Collection, Doha, Qatar

Museum of London

Museum of Rugby, Twickenham, London

Taunton and Somerset Hospital

University of Alberta

University of Iowa

University of Surrey, Roehampton

Victoria Art Gallery Bath



Ecclesiastical Commissions


St Albans Romford, The angels of the four elements of creation, painted Chancel ceiling

St Clements parish, north Kensington, Lenten Carnival, triptych

Chelmsford Cathedral, The Tree of life mural and St Cedd, engraved and etched glass window

Manchester Cathedral, Fraser’s Chapel, stained glass window and reredos 

Frances Bardesley School for Girls, Romford, Women of the Bible, painted triptych

Holy Trinity, Bosham; new tapestry altar frontal and pulpit fall for Ordinary Season 

The Church of the Epiphany, Qatar; The Epiphany Star, painted reredos

Jerusalem room, Hackney Free School, The Three Johanine Healings triptych

St Peter’s Winchester, Water and light, triptych

Chapel of Reconcilliation, Communityof the Resurrection, Mirfield, engraved and etched glass screen

Our Lady of Grace and St Teresa of Avila, Chingford; Christus Cross

Our Lady of Lourdes, Wanstead, Seven Episodes from the life of Mary paintings

St Mary’s, Stouting, Kent, The Resurection, painting

St Mary the Virgin, Lakenheath, Suffolk, high-altar crucfix 

Stowe School Chapel, prayer space door, Four Prophets, engraved and etched glass 

The Church of the Good Shepherd, Brighton, Stations of the Cross

Wesley’s Chapel, London; The English, Sangster and Weatherhead Windows, etched and engraved glass

Worcester Cathedral, The Millenium window, etched and engraved glass




2016 – St Edmundsbury Cathedral one year artist-in-residence; Silent Colour Meditation project

2015 – Borgo Pignano Artist residency programme, Tuscanny, Italy

2013 – Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, CT, USA, artist in residence

2012 – Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, CT, USA, artist in residence

2011 – Msheireb Residency, Doha, Qatar: Dohaland architectural project 

2007 – West Dean College Summer School, artist in residence

2004 – Palestine/Israel Pilgrimage with Biblelands, artist in residence  

2003 – Egypt Pilgrimage with Biblelands, artist in residence  

2001 – Assembly, South West Arts artist in residence at Bath Rugby Club


Teaching and other posts


2016 – ongoing: Degree tutor, Painting, Print and Drawing, UWE, Bristol 

2006 – 2011: Degree tutor, Drawing and Applied Arts, UWE, Bristol

2009 – ongoing: Seniro Faculty tutor Royal Drawing School, London

1992 – ongoing: senior tutor at The Edward James Foundation West Dean College, Sussex

1997 – ongoing: tutor at Arts in Provence, Les Bassacs, Provence

2012 – ongoing: Trustee, City and Guild School of Art London

2011    chaired committee redrawing new guidelines for commissioning new art in churches

2009 – ongoing: Heritage Committee, Drapers Livery Company 

2006 – 2010: Westminster Diocese Art and Architecture Committee

2002 – 2010: Council for the Care of Churches, Council Member and art advisor