Mark Cazalet


Mark Cazalet

New Growth, Spring
Philip Larkin’s poem The Trees ends with a mystical invocation:
‘Last year is dead, they seem to say, begin afresh, afresh, afresh’.

It is a timeless sentiment that feels more prescient with every passing year, not least at present. The cycles of arboreal regeneration and withering are set analogously against our shorter lives; ‘Their yearly trick of looking new is written down in rings of grain’. The passing seasons leave their mark, everything is recorded. Now each Spring seems more poignant than the last, sharper, briefer, a surprising mid-winter gift. The prints in this exhibition span a twenty-four year period. Although they bridge decades of erratic creative growth, they feel entirely consonant. The shock of re-encountering one’s earlier work is like meeting your doppelgänger for a quiet drink; there is so much that is familiar, even prophetic but that you had forgotten or never realised. Bringing these two series together is a strange collaboration that seems to open out a wholly new set of approaches from familiar departures, a kind of spring gift from the rings of grain.

This year I completed a pair of woodcuts which I have been working on over the past few years. The solid hard wood blocks taken from the leaves of an inherited sideboard. Cutting relief prints is a vice, a secret pleasure that deepens. The joy is in the simple binary nature of the process, leave or remove? Once the block is complete, or unable to be further worked, the printing begins. The blocks must now be reconsidered as templates for generating coloured space. In both series chromatic effects are created by layered transparencies. In Treeforms this was through overprinting three blocks per print. Sometimes these blocks were printed more than once or superimposed in different colours, mostly over an initial uncut coloured base-ground. On occasions there was additional oil pastel drawing. The Spring Growth series is worked with overlapping chine collé areas akin to a printed collage. A print could be taken with a single inked hue or rolled with several coloured inks. Sometimes I went back to a print and overprinted sections with chine collé papers and then glued them in. There are also monoprint tissues used as chine collé, further complicating the possibility of ingredients to be combined. Printmaking is playful, technically demanding but delightfully wayward in where it leads, endlessly open to change, or beginning afresh.

Mark Cazalet, 29th March 2022


Mark Cazalet (b.1964) trained at Chelsea and Falmouth School of Art, after which he held two postgraduate scholarships at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and at M.S. University Baroda in India. He works in a variety of media, pursuing his own themes, undertaking commissions, and working with communities. He has accepted ecclesiastical commissions in stained glass, engraved glass, painting, mosaic and tapestry. Currently, he is working on stained-glass windows. His studio is located in West London where he is represented by Serena Morton Gallery, with whom he has held three solo shows in the past five years. Recent book projects have included wood and linocut prints for the Old Stile Press’ Greenblades, Thomas Hardy’s late poetry, William Blake Collected Verse (Faber and Faber). Who Cares about HIV? a Darker Pilgrimage, (SPCK, May 2019) has nine of his images interspersed in the text. Ways of Drawing, Thames and Hudson 2019, contained his essay on travel art entitled Other People’s Terrain. In Lent 2020 Canterbury Diocese published their Novena booklet with nine of his specially commissioned chine collé linocut prints. Cazalet particularly enjoys the interaction his teaching brings at The Royal Drawing School, West Dean College and UWE, Bristol. As artist in residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, CT, U.S.A. (2012 and 2013), Cazalet discovered new contextual references which transformed his practice. In the autumn of 2019 he traveled to Japan to work from the gardens and temples of Kyoto.

Solo Exhibitions:

To Ithaka, 2021

Clare Hall—Cambridge University

Quiet Radiance, 2019

Serena Morton Gallery, London

Resonances, 2018

Serena Morton Gallery, London

Silent Colour Meditation, 2016

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Moments of Transformation, 2015

Curwen gallery, London

The Ocean in a Tree, 2012

Snape Maltings, Suffolk

Everyday Epiphany, 2008

Beardsmore Gallery, London

Seeing as Believing, 2006

Catmose Gallery, Rutland

On Shifting Ground, 2005

All Hallows by the Tower, London

An Egyptian Apocrypha, 2014

St Katherine Cree, London


Collections include:

The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Birmingham City Library

British Council

Clare Hall—Cambridge University

Coopers &a Lybrand Deloitte

Edward James Foundation

West Dean College

Fitzwilliam Museum

Getty Center (California)

Guildhall Art Gallery

Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council Collection

The Hepworth (Wakefield)

Hounslow and Spelthorne Community and Mental Health Service Trust

Indian High Commission

Kuwait National Collection

Lady Margret Hall—Oxford University

Methodist 20th-Century Art Collection

Msheireb Properties Collection (Doha)

Museum of London, Museum of Rugby (Twickenham)

Taunton and Somerset Hospital

University of Alberta

University of Iowa

University of Surrey—Roehampton

Victoria Art Gallery (Bath)