Stuart Pearson Wright
Stuart Pearson Wright is an artist living and working in East London. He grew up in Eastbourne, a seaside town in southern England. Born in 1975 in Northampton, Stuart drew with enthusiasm from an early age and after flirting with the idea of becoming an actor, finally opted for art school. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London.
During his time at the Slade, Stuart won a travel award from the National Portrait Gallery as part of its 1998 BP Portrait Awards. He set out in a van on a trip around Britain, producing sketches and paintings as he went. The resulting exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery was called From Eastbourne to Edinburgh-a Painter's Odyssey. Godfrey Barker in the Evening standard labelled Stuart "A Hogarth for our Times" (see Press Cuttings) and Brian Sewell was to describe the paintings as "images of such eccentricity and even madness that they fit perfectly the English tradition of the odd man out, the Blake, Spencer, Cecil Collins line, and the largest of them (very large and very mad) should at once have been bought by the Tate".
A chance encounter with the actor John Hurt in 2000 led to a small portrait on oak, which was subsequently bought by the National Portrait Gallery along with a portrait of the Ballet dancer Adam Cooper.
Earlier that year Stuart's career had taken an unexpected turn when he won the first prize in the BP Portrait Awards for his painting Gallus gallus with Still Life and Presidents.
Later that year Stuart organized an exhibition at the Jerwood Space in London called Being Present. This featured the work of eight painters.
As part of the BP awards first prize Stuart was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to create a portrait of the children's author J.K.Rowling. This portrait took Stuart nearly a year to complete and saw his work moving in a new direction. The portrait was conceived in the manner of a regency toy theatre, with the figure painted onto a flat cut-out and mounted in a three-dimensional space.
Stuart's interest in the theatre, and the concept of artifice led to his next exhibition in 2006, called Most people are other people: a collection of forty portrait drawings of British and Irish actors. The work was shown at the National Portrait Gallery and the National Theatre in London.
In 2007 Stuart had a solo exhibition at Galerie Huebner in Frankfurt called The Hole in the Bucket.
In 2009 Stuart co-ran a project space on Vyner Street called Five Hundred Dollars. He curated a group drawing exhibition called Kunskog which featured the work of Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy, Paul Noble and Ged Quinn, amongst others.
Stuart is now represented by Riflemaker in London and has had two solo exhibitions there: I Remember You in 2010, which alongside a number of paintings, included a film installation called MAZE, featuring British actress Keira Knightley. Stuart also recorded a Country and Western album on vinyl as a part of the exhibition. This featured Stuart on vocals and ukulele.
Stuart's second exhibition at Riflemaker, in 2012 was called Together in Electric Dreams. He has since exhibited in Singapore and has been working on a series of set designs: one for an opera, Dido and Aeneas by Jevington National Opera and also for his wife, the singer/songwriter The Tiger's Bride who performed at the National Portrait Gallery in October 2012.
Stuart is currently producing a new body of paintings.