Mark Coreth is an internationally recognized master sculptor of wildlife. His work reflects his instinctive understanding of the moods of the animals he sculpts. His success as a sculptor is borne of an acute and perceptive eye, coupled with the wealth of experience gained during his early years in Kenya and from his travels ever since to observe animals in their natural habitat.
“I have been lucky enough over the years to travel widely to study wildlife in its environment. My method has always been to record my experiences in my mind’s eye. It’s really being in the field that you see this movement and life in its extreme. You see those little twists and turns that you’d never see unless you were actually there to take it all in.”
Mark Coreth was born in London in 1958 and was immediately dispatched to the family farm in the Kenyan highlands where the Equator ran through the house. This idyllic African childhood fostered Mark’s early and continuing passion for wildlife.
After prep school in Kenya, Mark attended Ampleforth School and on leaving joined The Blues and Royals, serving with the Regiment as a regular officer. He has spent time in England, Cyprus, Germany, Ireland and the Falkland Islands during the 1982 hostilities. On his return to England he was commissioned to make a silver sculpture of his regiment’s drum horse “Belisarius”, for the Warrant Officer’s Mess. Later, a second cast in bronze became the Household Cavalry’s wedding present to The Duke and Duchess of York; his first commission, a taste of many more to come in the following years.
Whilst Mark has had no formal art training his ability is based quite simply on dedication and hard work coupled with an acute and perceptive eye, drawing heavily on experiences gained during his early years in Kenya and his unending passion for Africa.
Mark’s sculptures reflect his instinctive understanding of the moods of the animals he sculpts. Working with extraordinary speed, if the original plasticine or clay fails to speak to him within a couple of hours Mark destroys it and starts again. He captures violence, speed, tranquillity and pathos with deceptive ease, and is now internationally recognized as a master sculptor of the animal in motion.
Coreth’s unusual working methods include modelling in clay direct from his subjects, live in the field; a practice which vividly translates into the fluid and impressionistic nature of his sculpture, capturing both the spirit of the animal but also that of their environment. Coreth feels that this allows him to enter the mind-set of his subjects and in so doing, capture the essence of their energy.
As well as his regular one-man shows at Sladmore Contemporary Mark undertakes monumental sculpture commissions. To date these include a life-size piece of two Cheetahs in a tree for the ruling family in Dubai, a life-size figure of a boatman which sits outside Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a shoal of rays in the Docklands, an intricate 50-piece fountain at the Natural History Museum and a full-size bronze ‘Tree of Hope’ with hundreds of cast Swifts among the branches which was commissioned for the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital in Muristan. His most spectacular commission to date has been an enormous 18-foot-high charging elephant; the subject of a half hour documentary on the Discovery Channel. Where the film-makers followed him on safari while he made his initial studies, back to his studio for the creation process and finally to the foundry to see the final casting of the bronze. The finished bronze elephants currently reside in a public collection in Rome and a private collection in Australia.
Following a visit to the Arctic in 2010 he was determined to bring home the fragility of the eco-system through his sculpture. He conceived and created “The Ice Bear Project” where He made an enormous bronze Polar Bear skeleton and encased it in a giant block of ice which he then carved in front of the public. This large Polar bear made of ice was then allowed to melt on site while people touched it, revealing the haunting bronze skeleton inside. This project has been recreated in London’s Trafalgar Square and at climate change conferences in Copenhagen, Sydney, Ottawa and other locations. It helped raise awareness of the whole climate change debate and reminded people of the extraordinary fragility of the many endangered species. An award winning short film of the ice bear project was narrated by Ewan McGregor.
Two major commissions in 2015 cemented his international reputation. The first was unveiled at Chateau Haut Brion in France. The 4-meter-high Dragon of Quintus commissioned by Prince Robert of Luxembourg, stands proudly on a hill overlooking the vineyards. This spectacular sculpture of the fabled fantastic beast and symbol of the fine Quintus wine already attracts thousands of visitors to the area.
At Royal Ascot in 2016 Her Majesty the Queen unveiled Mark’s magnificent sculpture of Frankel the world-famous racehorse. This life size portrait bronze commissioned by Prince Khalid Abdullah and his Juddmonte stud of their multi prize winning racehorse has been greeted with enormous acclaim. Copies of the life size sculpture stand at Ascot, York and at the stud itself.
Coreth is a dedicated supporter of many wildlife charities including The Order of St John and the Ice Bear project, just two examples of his approach to raising funds and awareness of critical environmental issues. His tireless campaigning and generosity has raised very large sums at charity auctions across the years. In a very real sense, Coreth’s relationship to his subjects is journalistic, with the firm intention that his sculptures will both touch the viewer and raise awareness of the huge challenges that conservation presents for us all. Meanwhile his work also adds to the beauty, wonder and joy we can all share in appreciation of the natural world.
Whilst Coreth cites the great Rembrandt Bugatti as artistic inspiration, it is clear that his abiding inspiration and muse is that natural world in all its living, breathing glory. Mark brings us close to a world many of us may never see as he has done in the wild, but we can experience its compelling wonder through the beauty of his sculpture.
ArtworksView all Artworks >
Wild Boar Seated - Large
Bronze, edition of 9
Mark Coreth | Story in the Snow
7th Nov 2019 - 29th Nov 2019,
Mark Coreth | Aspects of Africa
9th Nov 2017 - 30th Nov 2017,
Mark Coreth: Reflections on Past Encounters
20th Oct 2021 - 12th Nov 2021,
The past two years have afforded Mark a great deal more time to spend working on sculptures in the studio. With global travel being off-limits, Mark has been given a…
Mark Coreth Wildlife Collection
23rd Mar 2022 - 14th Apr 2022,