Henry Ward British, b. 1971

Henry Ward is an artist, writer and teacher who lives and works in London. He works primarily as a painter but also makes drawings and creates small sculptures. Henry's paintings are made instinctively and he allows the process of making to dictate the direction the work goes in. He is interested in exploring the language of paint by investigating the threshold between representation and abstraction. He maintains three specific sites of practice; his kitchen table where he makes small objects, his garden shed where he paints on paper and the studio. These three spaces create an ongoing dialogue between different ways of working and at different paces.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry focussed on painting in his shed as opposed to his studio. This has evolved into a daily practice and has resulted in an ongoing series that has become known as the 'Shed Paintings'. In February 2021, one-hundred-and-one of these works on paper were gathered together in the first substantial publication on Henry's work entitled 'Shed Paintings - Henry Ward'. The book was published by Hato Press and features a new essay by Ben Street.


Henry is the Director for the Freelands Foundation and was Head of Education at the Southbank Centre. Prior to this he worked in a variety of roles at Welling School, a Specialist Visual Arts College. In 2002 he established the alTURNERtive Prize, an annual award celebrating outstanding student practice. In 2011 he founded the biannual arts and education periodical æ. He is a visiting lecturer at several UK art schools including Bath Spa University, Brighton University, Manchester School of Art, Plymouth College of Art, Wimbledon College of Art and Wolverhampton School of Art. He is also a mentor on the Turps Art School Correspondence and offsite courses.


Henry Ward has written and lectured extensively on education and the arts. He was an advisor for Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin and in 2018 he curated a two day event there investigating approaches to public engagement. He is a trustee of Bolton Contemporary.


In 2018, 2019 and 2022 Henry was shortlisted for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize. He was longlisted for the Contemporary British Painting Prize in 2021 and included in the Wells Contemporary in 2020. In 2023 he will be artist in residence at The Albers Foundation, Connecticut.