Born 1965, Wirral. Lives in Manchester.

Mary Griffiths’ practice begins with drawing and the close observation of urban, rural and industrial ecologies and architectures. These rapid figurative drawings are developed in the studio in graphite, ink, print and paint. They are also the root of her abstract works, through which their essential geometries are rendered.

Exhibitions include; Summer/Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, London (2020); Protest and Remembrance at Cristea Roberts Gallery, London (2018); Wild Honey, The Turnpike, Leigh (2018, ACE funded); Prospect Planes, with physicist Kostya Novoselov, for the Great Exhibition of the North, Newcastle/Gateshead (2018); Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester and touring internationally (2016-18); From Seathwaite, permanent wall drawing at the National Graphene Institute, Manchester (2015); Still Further, Bureau, Manchester (2014); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London (2014); Cabedal, Plataforma Revolver, Lisbon (2012); Fathom, Bureau, Manchester (2012); Memory of a Hope, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool (2011).

Mary Griffiths studied English at Newcastle University and for an MA Fine Art at Manchester School of Art. She worked as a curator in museums and galleries until 2020, most recently at the Whitworth, The University of Manchester where she is an Honorary Fellow. In April 2023 she was awarded the Gatenby Fellowship at the School of Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

A book of her drawings, Pictures of War, was published by Carcanet in 2009. Mary Griffiths’ work is in the Arts Council Collection; The Turnpike; The Whitworth; Manchester Art Gallery; private collections.

One-person Exhibitions


Artist in residence at 45 Hilton Street, Manchester, January 2022


Wild Honey, The Turnpike, Leigh and Lancashire Mining Museum at Astley Green Colliery (14 April  – 26 May 2018) (booklet)


From Seathwaite, permanent wall drawing in the National Graphene Institute, The University of Manchester


Still Further, Bureau, Manchester (1 Dec – 13 Feb 2015)

Rangefinder, artist in residence, PS Mirabel, Manchester (25 Apr – 7 June)


Fathom, Bureau, Manchester. (31 Mar – 12 May)

Group Exhibitions


Lines of Empathy, Patrick Heide Gallery, London (1 – 25 February 2023) and Close Ltd, Hatch Beauchamp, Somerset (3 June – 22 July 2023)


DRAWING-IN-BREATHING-OUT, Rogue Artists Studios, Manchester (14 May – 4 September 2022) (Permanent wall drawing For this we go out dark nights.)

Fayre Share Fayre, The Whitworth, Manchester (20 May – 4 September 2022)

60 Drawings + 10, The Whitaker, Rawtenstall (16 June – 11 August 2022)

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London (21 June – 21 August 2022)

Weather Drawings, commissioned by Manchester Collective, Royal Northern College of Music (23 September 2022)


Fledge: A Year of Birds, Contemporary Six, Manchester (1 – 23 May 2021)

Drawing Biennial 2021, The Drawing Room, London (21 May – 30 June 2021)


Summer/Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, London (6 October 2020 – 3 January 2021)

Received Wisdom, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, (1 February – 5 May 2020)


The Flesh of Thought, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, London (25 September – 3 November 2019)

The Fire Within, The Galleries, Wigan (11 May – 6 July 2019)

Major Conversations- The Industrial Narrative, Platform A, Middlesbrough (29 March – 30 April 2019)

Protest and Remembrance, Cristea Roberts Gallery, London (28 February – 30 March 2019)(e-book)


Prospect Planes (2018) (video drawing) made with Kostya Novoselov and accompanied by Sara Lowes’ Graphene Theme. Premiered as part of the Hexagon Experiment, Great Exhibition of the North, Great North Museum, Newcastle (Friday 17 August 2018)

Cultivation: Points of Vantage, Hestercombe House, Taunton, Somerset (17 March – 8 July 2018)


Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond, Hong Kong Science Museum (15 December 2017 – 18 April 2018)


From A to C; this being B, Caustic Coastal, Manchester (17 November – 10 December 2016)

Looking North, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (28 October 2016 – 26 February 2017)

Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester (23 July 2016 – 25 June 2017)


The Dream of Modern Living? Warrington Museum and Art Gallery (2 Oct – 14 Nov 2015)


Black and White Room, curated by Cornelia Parker at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London (9 June – 17 Aug)

In Conversation, Touchstones, Rochdale (5 Apr – 14 June)

The Drawing Project, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (14 – 23 Feb)


Tip of the Iceberg: Art from Up North, Contemporary Art Society, London (4 Oct 2013 – 3 Jan )

Some Recent Examples, Sevendale House, Manchester (4 – 21 July)


Cabedal, Plataforma Revolver, Lisbon, Portugal  (16 Nov 2012 – 26 Jan) (catalogue)


Memory of a Hope, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool. (5 Aug – 3 Sept)

Workhouse, The Hive, Manchester. (14 – 21 Apr)


MA Show, Holden Gallery, Manchester School of Art. (30 Sept – 6 Oct)

This and That, Triple Base Gallery, San Francisco, USA. (7 Aug – 6 Sept)

Four Artists from the Manchester School of Art, FAFA Gallery, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland. (14 Feb – 1 March) (catalogue)


Jerwood Drawing Prize 2008, Jerwood Space, London and touring UK. (17 Sept 2008 – 25 Apr 2009) (catalogue)

The Origins of Nine, Islington Mill, Salford. (May)


Arts Council Collection; The Turnpike, Leigh; The Whitworth, The University of Manchester; Private Collections

Commissions and Awards

2022 Manchester Collective, Northern Voices, Weather drawings

2022 Arts Council England, Developing Your Creative Practice

2020 Greater Manchester Combined Authority Covid-19 Creative Commissions, An Open Sky: 500 Birds above Lockdown

2021 ACE Covid Emergency grant

2019 Brighter Sound, The Hexagon Project, Prospect Planes with Kostya Novoselov

2018 ACE Project Grant, Wild Honey exhibition

2015 National Graphene Institute, From Seathwaite wall drawing

Publications and Conferences


Drawing Conversations 4, University of Huddersfield, “Wild Honey, a residency at Astley Green Colliery and exhibition at The Turnpike, Leigh”, 2 September 2022


The Fire Within, Wigan Borough Council, 2019

Protest and Remembrance e-book, Alan Cristea Gallery, 2019


Wild Honey review by Natalie Bradbury, Corridor 8, 7 May 2018, Corridor 8 Wild Honey

Wild Honey Review by Linda Pittwood, Art World Shanghai, June 2018, 330_艺术世界-linda, Turnpike

Prospect Planes article by Bingyan Xue, The Art Newspaper China, 9 October 2018, The Art Newspaper China


Revolver, Tiago Duarte and Pavel Büchler, Edinburgh

The Right Formula, The Story of the National Graphene Institute, David Taylor, Manchester University Press


Drawing Paper 5, published by Mike Carney & Jon Barraclough


Pictures of War, published by Carcanet.