William Cotterill (b.1984) is a contemporary British artist living and working in Oxford and London, United Kingdom. He studied at Central Saint Martins.

He has been featured in a number of shows including ‘Hello, Goodbye’, Central Saint Martins, ‘Halcyon’, Art Jericho and ‘Conspiracies’, Lewisham Arthouse.  His first solo show ‘Tangle of Matter and Ghost’ was curated by Jenny Blyth (Saatchi Gallery curator 1990-2002). He has had a residency solo show at SHSK and the show ‘Maps For Loners’ at 2SR Art Space, Oxford. His latest solo show, Sudden Portals, was at Cornerstone Art Centre in Didcot.

His work is in international private collections as well as the Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection.

The Work

Distorted reflections, images in peripheral vision, fragments of patterns and motifs – I am drawn to experiences and visuals where what is in front of me does not completely solidify and make sense in my mind, where I am left in a space which does not settle.

I find being in this gap of constant questioning and ambiguity an exciting experience, and one that I wish to transmit through my work. I hunt for forms and places that give a sense of the uncanny, recording through photography and drawing. This ever-growing library often serves as a starting point for my paintings and sculptures. Images and experiences are combined and filtered through my memory. They become triggers for the creation of a lexicon of personal marks and symbols on the canvas.

The paintings evolve through a slow process of layering and re-working. Often the surfaces appear cracked and scarred. I mix marble dust and chalk into the paint to create a myriad of different consistencies, allowing me to work in a highly sculptural way: weaving, carving and excavating. The sense that nothing is solid, and that anything might change, are ideas that influence this working method. That which might appear complete from a distance, reveals itself to be in continual flux upon closer inspection.

The paintings mostly look semi-organic or overgrown, as if succumbed to entropy. I want the feeling these works could disintegrate and slip into chaos at any moment. They are not didactic or definite in any sense. My investigations into the shifting narrative of historical artefacts, architecture and painting are a constant reminder of the fragile nature of ideas and beliefs, which I aim to express through the work.


Solo exhibitons
Sudden Portals, Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot, 2021
Stranger Paintings, SHSK Residency exhibition, 2019
Maps For Loners, 2SR Art Space, 2018
Tangle of Matter & Ghost, Art Jericho, 2012

Selected group exhibitions
Cornerstone At Home, 2020
Conspiracies, Lewisham Arthouse 2018
Oxford Town Hall Art Exhibition, 2015
London Art Fair, 2013
Halcyon, Art Jericho, 2011
Art In Woodstock, 2011
Hello, Goodbye at the Lethaby Gallery Central Saint Martins, 2011
Elms Lester Painting Room
The Old Truman Brewery
Back Hill, Central Saint Martins

BA Hons Graphic Design, Central Saint Martins (2003 – 2006)