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Philip Mead

Artist-in-Residence at the National Gallery between 1987 and 1988

Philip Mead (b.1948 Lincoln, UK) was Artist-in-Residence at the National Gallery for six-months between October 1987 and March 1988. Throughout his career, Mead has explored the relationship between landscape and memory. In the 1980s, his work examined the environmental impact of a growing human population. Mead said in an interview at the time that the landscape interested him because it related to modern themes: 'The human element in the landscape is getting more and more powerful', he explained, and 'more out of control'. Mead studied at Gloucestershire College of Art (197982) and Birmingham Polytechnic (19824). In 1986, he was awarded a Greek government scholarship, which enabled him to spend ten months traveling and painting in Greece.

During his residency at the Gallery, Mead created several monumental paintings of open expanses of land, using a sombre palette of greys and browns. He worked in mixed media, using a range of materials, including decorators’ paint and found objects.

An exhibition of works that Mead produced during his residency was held in the Artist-in-Resident’s studio between 1 and 31 May 1988.

After completing the National Gallery residency, Mead won a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Award (1991) and a British American Arts Association Award (1992). These research grants enabled him to visit to the high desert regions of southwestern USA, travelling through Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. He also won a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award (1994) and was a resident artist at the Bemis Centre in Omaha, Nebraska (1998). For over twenty-five years, Mead has made artists books, comics, and mail-art envelopes.