British artist Will Teather is known for creating contemporary images that reveal an adventurous imagination combined with a mastery of traditional skills. The artist’s figurative paintings and drawings often depict curious characters caught up in uncanny situations. Influenced by magical-realism and lifting motifs from diverse sources such as Flemish still life, baroque art and Weimar painters, the artist enters into conversation with the history of painting with the aim of bringing a present-day sensibility to the table
After spending his childhood in rural Norfolk surrounded by religious imagery and books on historical painting, Teather’s knowledge of contemporary art was refined through periods of study in London at Central St Martins and Chelsea College of Art & Design. Teather’s skill as a painter, however, remains largely self-taught through personal experimentation and his close inspection of masterpieces from major museums.
After establishing his artistic practice in London, Teather came to wider attention in spring 2007 when he was selected from international applications to be the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for Aberdeen Arts Centre. Following his time in Scotland, the artist returned to Norfolk where he spent over 3 years as the Artist-in-Residence for the Anteros Arts Foundation, based in their Bergh Apton venue and subsequently Norwich, before setting up a permanent studio in the city’s cultural quarter. In 2012, as a recipient of the Ruth Katzman Scholarship, he visited New York, USA, where he took part in The Vytlacil Campus Artist-in-Residence Program.
Over the last fifteen years, he has been the recipient of numerous grants and bursaries, with his paintings and drawings featuring in over 100 gallery exhibitions across the UK and overseas. Recent venues to display his work include London’s Panter and Hall, the Colomb Art Gallery, The Mall Galleries, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Vermont’s Catherine Dainich Gallery, Norwich’s Art 18/21, Edinburgh’s Open Eye Gallery, RH Gallery New York and Oxfordshire’s Modern Artists Gallery.
He has featured in many international art prizes, including being a finalist for the London Contemporary Art Prize, Mayfair’s “Cork Street Open Exhibition,” and short-listed for the “Celeste Prize.” His artwork has been widely showcased in publications including The International Drawing Annual, Wall Street International, Artists and Illustrators, The Artist Magazine and The Antiques Trade Gazette. He has also provided art criticism and articles on technique for award-winning books, magazines and television.
Teather’s work is held in a number of notable collections in the UK and overseas. His unique paintings have attracted many discerning collectors, repeatedly breaking sales records for events. Work has been acquired by Matthew Bourne (choreographer/ director), Peter Stephen (Lord Provost of Aberdeen), the Aude Gotto Collection, The Wolterton & Mannington Estate and The Modern Artist’s Gallery. Commissioners for projects include Arts Council England, the City of Aberdeen (under curatorial care of Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums), Norfolk County Council and Ana Silvera (singer).
Also a musician, Teather has fronted a succession of bands over the last ten years, the latest been the Vicars of Stiffkey: a psych-rock band that recently signed to Off With Their Records with their first release due in 2017. The artist’s interest in theatre and music has often influenced his painterly style and led to a variety of other collaborations. Guest appearances in his paintings have been made by theatre groups such as Les Enfants Terrible, Hocus Pocus Theatre, plus the singers Ana Silvera and Andrew Plummer. His wife, the visual artist and performer Dot Howard, is also a recurrent muse within the works.
In 2010, Teather collaborated with members of the art collective Other Other Other to create a performance themed around gallery etiquette, performed at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (and later revived in 2015 at Firstsite). This was followed by a performance in 2011, conceived by Teather and developed in collaboration with the performer Holly Bodmer titled “The Reappearance of The Remarkable Disappearing and Reappearing Maudeline Spacks.” The event was subsequently awarded an Arts Council England grant for it’s development and re-staging as part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival’s 2012 Beta Programme.
The artist has taught on drawing courses at The University of Arts London, Leeds College of Art & Design and currently is an Associate Lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts. His workshops have featured in the Times Educational Supplement and, in 2008, he was awarded a staff award, in recognition of his contribution as a demonstrator for the university’s Drawing Workshop. He was made an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016.