Based in York, Hearld’s practice is varied, employing mediums like linocut, screen printing, lithographs, ceramics, painting and collage, also translating the finished works into fabric and wallpaper designs. Taking inspiration from the natural world, his pieces feature dynamic compositions of animals and the surrounding flora with a hint of folklore and all of the energy of a meadow bustling with activity under the sun.
For the exhibition at YSP, the artist has joined forces with Leach Pottery in St Ives, working with lead potter Roelof Uys. As a result, they created a set of hand-thrown platters, decorated by Mark Hearld using sgraffito mark-making on wet clay, as well as complex details with the use of glaze recipes from studio potter Svend Bayer and Bernard Leach, after whom the studio was named and who is now widely regarded as the father of studio pottery. The resulting pieces are graphic, earthy-coloured, coin-like designs which retain the energy of Hearld’s vivid work despite the structured process of ceramics production.
Above all, the show is a cheerful celebration of collaboration and interdisciplinarity. As well as Leach Pottery, Mark Hearld has worked with the Potteries at Stoke-on-Trent to create and decorate limited edition tankards, while Tilley Printing, a long-time collaborator of the artist, have produced a special exhibition letter-press print. In addition to this, woven jacquard tapestry wall hangings featuring the artist’s charming designs are also on display. As part of the new body of work created specifically for Raucous Invention, a large scale mural composed from individual collages is also on display, coming together to animate the walls of YSP Kitchen at the Visitor Centre.
With a dizzying array of images, from observant owls and shy deer to long dog portraits and curious foxes, the exhibition is a joyous event indeed. You not only get to feast your eyes but you can also take a little bit of the joy with you (or give it to someone else!) as the works in the exhibition are available to purchase.