About Mark Fairnington
After graduating in Sculpture from Saint Martins School of Art in 1979, Mark Fairnington worked as a road sweeper in Trafalgar Square, a caricaturist for the NME and a community artist on a council estate in South East London. He did his MA at Goldsmiths College in 1989 and since then has become known internationally as an artist.
His paintings of specimens - insects, birds and animals are often on a huge scale combining obsessive surface detail with a sensuous precision. The image of the specimen becomes a way of exploring and articulating the complex and changing relationships between human beings and the history of thinking about the natural world.
Fairnington has worked closely with the Natural History Museum in London and a major exhibition of his work, Fabulous Beasts, was mounted at the Museum in 2004. Perhaps the most spectacular painting in this exhibition was the 3 metre wide Hummingbird Tree, based on the oldest case in the Museum's collection, which contains around 500 birds and is a remarkable example of a taxidermy display that fuses realism and imagination.
In 2000, Mark was the Sargent Fellow at the British School at Rome and he is a Reader in Painting at Wimbledon College of Art.
Mark donated a deckchair design for Deckchair Dreams in 2007. He told us:
This simple striped deckchair brings together a tulip from 1650s Spain, a caterpillar and a bee from Surinam in 1701 and an 18th Century Alexandrine parakeet from Ceylon."
Mark's designer deckchair is available to buy from our online shop. All proceeds help support the Royal Parks.