Mark Ware background summary

Mark Ware TEDx FulbrightGlasgow talk 2019, Strathclyde University. Title: ‘Stroke: the loss and recovery of familiarity’ Photo: Eoin Carey

Mark Ware: “I studied Fine Art at Nothumbria University (BA (hons) 1st class), and then The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Master of Fine Arts) for which I received a Fulbright Scholarship. During this 7 year period, I studied sculpture, photography, filmmaking, sound art, multimedia performance, art history, and film history & theory.

On returning to England, I set up a video production and photography business, supplying work for multinational companies, government agencies, and Broadcast news channels. Work varied and included promoting tourism & inward investment, education & training, and nature conservation awareness. Clients included Bosch, Panasonic, Fuji/DuPont, Scholl, The Open University, Milton Keynes Development Corporation, The Commission for the New Towns, Broadcast news and Eurosport.

After a stroke in 1996, my art has become increasingly concerned with altered subjective experiences caused by changes in mind and body due to my brain injury. Supported by Arts Council England and seen by over 1,000,000 people since 2004, my art projects have included large-scale art exhibitions in a Brighton shopping centre, interactive sound sculptures for visually impaired schoolchildren in Hampshire, national touring exhibitions, and a two year, multi-event art project at Exeter Cathedral.

Since 2015, supported by Arts Council England, I have been working on a series of art/science collaborations with neuroscientists and psychologists examining how we might benefit from exposure to the natural environment in terms of wellbeing and health.

In 2017, I set up a charity called The Wavelength Project, of which I am CEO. The charity’s purpose is the advancement of the arts and science focusing on the health benefits of the natural environment to the public, by funding and promoting research and activities that investigate and support this aim. Outcomes will be used to inform and influence the design of the built environment, including places where wellbeing and health are of concern, such as in hospitals, schools and workplaces. A core aim of the charity is to encourage a greater understanding, protection and nurturing of the natural environment.”


1978-1980: Shrewsbury School of Art. Foundation Diploma, Art and Design

1980-1983: Northumbria University. 1st Class (Hons) BA Sculpture, Mixed Media, Photography, Performance, Film History and Film Theory

1984-1986: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA. Master of Fine Arts. Sculpture, photography, filmmaking, sound art, multimedia performance, art history, and film history & theory

Work History

1983-1984: Exhibition designer, Madame Tussaud’s, London & Amsterdam

1984-1986: Freelance commercial stills photographer, Snook Studios Inc. Chicago

1984-1986: Freelance video director and cameraman, Francorp Int, Chicago, USA

1987-1989: International Video Production Manager, Crosfield Electronics, England 

1989-1996: Spectra Films, UK (founder & owner).  Trading as an independent video producer, director, cameraman/stills photographer and marketing and publicity advisor. Clients: BBC News, ITV News, Channel 4 News, Sky News, Barclays Bank, Ernst and Young, Bosch, Mercedes Benz and Government Agencies, including Milton Keynes Development Corporation and The Commission for the New Towns 

1996-2004: Following a severe stroke, the development of writing, digital photography and sculptural ideas

2004: Exhibition of digital photographic prints.  Event name: ‘Entitled’. The Dome, Brighton

2005: ‘Mind Games’. Arts Council England supported new work: A play, film & exhibition of digital prints creatively interpreting experience of stroke. The Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton

2006-2007: ‘Mind Games II:’ Arts Council England supported creation of a month-long exhibition of large scale 3D art banners at Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton.  Seen by over 1,000,000 visitors

2006-2008: Sound Posts Phase one: An outdoor, site-specific, interactive, computer-controlled sound sculpture for Toynbee School, Eastleigh, Hants. Supported by Hampshire County Council & Arts Council England

2007: Public screening of my film entitled, ‘The Dog that Barked like a Bird’, accompanied by a talk about the work at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (‘The Dog that Barked like a Bird’ is a film that explores my altered subjective experience caused by changes in mind and body due to stroke. ‘An extraordinary piece of work’ – Alan Bennett)

2007: Collaborative sound & vision installation for the ‘Collaborators’ exhibition at Nottingham Trent University, curated by the Society of British Theatre Designers

2008: X08 International Disability Festival: Screening of ‘The Dog that Barked like a Bird’

2009-2011: Sound Posts: Phase Two: Creation and installation of two outdoor, site-specific, interactive, computer-controlled sound sculptures at Hampshire primary schools together with a dedicated interactive  creative sound design website. Hampshire County Council & Arts Council England supported

2011: The Dog that Barked like a Bird (and other tales), The Carlton Theatre, Teignmouth: Arts Council England supported multimedia presentation comprising a new HD version of ‘The Dog that Barked like a Bird’, a play entitled ‘Free Speech’, and an exhibition of digital artwork, with live music performed by Jerri Hart. 

2011: Sound Waves sound workshops for children with autism and cerebral palsy at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.  Supported by Kaleido Arts

2012 – 2013: Cathedra 900: An Arts Council England site-specific multimedia, multi-event project presented at Exeter Cathedral, created to interpret and express Exeter Cathedral’s 900 year timeline.  Events included a large-scale 3D artwork banner exhibition, creative workshops for young children, a sound installation, a multimedia live event involving film and live classical music and an online exhibition of artists from the UK and USA. 

2013: Solo touring exhibition of photomontage fabric digital print artwork entitled, ‘The Cathedral Series’. Venues: The Life After Stroke Centre, Bromsgrove, The Royal College of General Practitioners London, Wellcome Collection London and Exeter Cathedral. Supported by the Stroke Association

2013: Photography for ‘OF SIRENS AND CENTAURS – Medieval Sculpture at Exeter Cathedral’. Author, Alex Woodcock.  Commissioned by Impress Books. ISBN: 9781907605437

2015+: The Wavelength Project, an art science collaboration investigating the benefits of exposure to the natural environment.  A collaboration with Prof Hugo Critchley and his colleagues at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, supported by Arts Council England

2016+: Collaborations with Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Staffordshire University.  Investigating responses to visual (photographic) representations of the natural environment

2016/17: Reflecting Nature art science national touring exhibition & pubic engagement activities.  In collaboration with Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Staffordshire University.  Arts Council England supported

2016/17/18: Art commission for the CEDA charity, Exeter to work on a project entitled, ‘Total Immersion’. A multimedia art project investigating how perceptions of self can be affected by disability. Arts Council England supported

2017: Founder and CEO of THE WAVELENGTH PROJECT charity

2017: Photography for ‘Early Victorian Devon 1830-1860 – An age of Optimism and Opulance’. Author, Dr David Parker.  Halsgrove Publishing. ISBN: 9780857043191

2017: Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Sussex COGS talk, ‘Art & nature’, 

2017: British Science Festival Brighton, Wavelength Project joint presentation with Prof Hugo Critchley

2018: Public artwork banners featuring portraits of disabled adults, Princesshay Shopping Centre, Exeter, Art Week Exeter

2018-20: Artist/Photographer in residence at the Ceda charity, Exeter

2018: Teignmouth Science Café art/science collaborations talk. 2

2018: Brunel University Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar Series talk on how art practice can help science research

2018: Book cover artwork for ‘EUROPEAN STAMP ISSUES AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR – Fall of Empires, Rise of Nations’. Author, Dr David Parker.  Halsgrove Publishing. ISBN: 9780857043306

2019: US-UK FulbrightGlasgow TEDx talk entitled, ‘Does familiarity breed contempt, or does it lead to empathy?’ 

2019: Photography for a work in progress book on ‘how the Victorians saw themselves’, by author Dr David Parker. Title and details to be announced

Awards and Grants

1984: Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship for study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA

1985: Ford Foundation Scholarship for the study of Fine Art in Chicago, USA

1986: James Nelson Raymond Travelling Fellowship prize awarded for best post-graduate show at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

1988: National Interactive Video Training Award, for an interactive training simulator for the Pre-Press industry

1989: National Training Award, for video training programmes for the Pre-Press industry

1992: Excellence in Communication Award, for a video programme designed to encourage young people to vote at local elections, commissioned by Milton Keynes Borough Council

1998: R&D Award (West Midlands Disability Arts Forum), to write a screenplay for a short film dealing with issues of disability

1999: Milton Keynes Arts Association development grant for scriptwriting

2000: Anglia Television development grant for scriptwriting

2003: Arts Council England award to write, develop, produce and direct two pieces of work for stage (piloted at The Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton 2004)

2005: Winner of ‘Etcetera’ logo competition

2005: Arts Council England award to develop a variety of work, including a large scale 3D exhibition at a shopping centre in Brighton, a video composition, a site-specific light sculpture and digital photography

2006: Arts Council England commission to participate in the ‘Inside Out’ project exploring the built environment from the point of view of disability, as part of Architecture Week

2009-2011: Arts Council England award for the creation of an interactive sound sculpture project for visually impaired schoolchildren entitled ‘Sound Posts: Phase One and Sound Posts Phase Two’

2010: Stroke Association Life After Stroke (Adult Courage) Award

2011: Arts Council England award for a multimedia event staged at the Carlton Theatre, Teignmouth, Devon. The work included a play, a video composition, an exhibition of digital artwork and a live performance by Jerri Hart, singer and trumpet player

2011: Kaleido Arts bursary to develop the ‘Sound Waves’ project, working with autistic children and children with cerebral palsy

2012-2013: Arts Council England award to produce ‘Cathedra 900’, a site-specific multimedia, multi-event project at Exeter Cathedral

2014-: Honorary Research Fellow title awarded by Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex

2015: Arts Council England award to produce The Wavelength Project, a multi-partner art science collaboration

2016: Arts Council England award to support a touring art/science exhibition & public engagement project entitled, Reflecting Nature 

2016: European City of Science Manchester partner (Reflecting Nature public engagement activities)

2016/17: National touring Reflecting Nature art/science exhibition and public engagement activities, in collaboration with Staffordshire University

2017: Invitation to become an Associate Member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Staffordshire University

2017: Arts Council England award for R&D of the ‘Over The Sea Run The Hares’ multimedia multisensory performance 

2017/18: Arts Council England supported ‘Total Immersion’ art commission for the CEDA charity, Exeter

2018: Ceda art award for Princesshay Exeter artwork banner portraits exhibition

2019: Arts Council England award for NATURE EFFECTS, a multimedia nature-influenced project featuring photography, video and sound