About Mark Beattie MRSS


Mark Beattie MRSS is a British award-winning sculptor who has had a remarkable career so far winning the Midlands Open and the Xerxes Sculpture Prize in 2015. In the same year he was elected to the Royal Society of Sculptors (MRSS). In 2017 Mark was shortlisted for the Open Contemporary Young Artist Award run by The Biscuit Factory gallery in Newcastle, shortlisted for the international Rise Art Prize and long-listed for The Secret Art Prize by Curious Duke Gallery in London.
Mark creates abstract sculptures using various metals and ranging in size from miniature to monumental. Each sculpture is unique and finished in a way that is sensitive to the material. He has developed a signature style through which his sculptures contain movement and fluidity. Mark has recently started using neon which works in harmony with his metalwork and has added a sense of energy to his practice.

From an early point in his career Mark has been fascinated with circles; the harmony and unity they offer features in almost all of his sculptures. Mark explains “the circle for me is the perfect shape; I’ve always considered it an abstract symbol of happiness. I think we are drawn to circles; contoured lines are softer than straight and an easier form for the eye to settle on. In my work I strive for perfection, a balance between the physical material and the negative space.”

The circle is a shape that has inspired cultures for millennia: from cathedral domes to coins, the wheel to the Large Hadron Collider; but it’s the repeating circles in nature that inspire Mark. “I remember being on holiday in the South of France as a child and star gazing each night; viewing the moon and planets through a telescope and catching shooting stars. Circles can be found everywhere in nature; shells, flowers, the iris, planets, the moon and the grain in wood. I guess the shape is engrained in me and evokes a calmness.”

As Mark works with metal, he is exploring the properties of the material. He is often contrasting finishes; morphing from the pure/unblemished to the rusted/antiqued appearance or the bright fluorescent against the matte black. He has recently started to break out of the spherical to create spirals and towers that still pursue the poetry of free-flowing curves and maintain the harmonious balance of form and space.

In 2015 Mark introduced light to his work. He stresses: “it’s not a departure or a change in direction, but a material that adds energy and movement to my sculptures. There’s an energy in neon light and not just the current running through the glass, but I see a positive energy which I hope will transfer to the viewer and create some tranquillity even if just for a second. A moment of reflection, meditation almost, away from our busy lives.” Mark enjoys the idea of colour theory and he probes the essence of what we deem light and colour to do and mean. He steps into making a sculpture, aware that colours can act as an emotional directive for the observer. Mark is comfortable leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions, satisfied with the knowledge that his work transcends culture, religion and background.

Mark has a strong academic background in art, having studied a BA Hons (International) in Contemporary Art Practice at Leeds University and more recently an MA in European Arts Practice at Kingston University, Surrey. To date he has exhibited in over 60 exhibitions, either in a group or as a solo artist and has a strong following of collectors worldwide. His work is in corporate and private collections throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and the USA.