Will Wright grew up amongst his father's print business, making and creating with a wealth of printing materials. His early obsessions with 2000AD, trash videos and Hip Hop culture, would meld with later interest in filmmaking, magick and anthropology, culminating in his distinctive style. Will's professional directing work is crammed with nods and references to a multitude of cult films, rock iconography and counter culture. His current practice reflects his transition back to fine art, that results from a heavy influence of Northern European mysteries and Ontological Anarchy.
FolkGraff is a growing body of work that attempts to heal the cultural timeline from Neolithic culture to present day via contemporay street art: atomiser replaces spray can, tags become sigils and throw ups as shrines. Will has engaged experimental archeology through developing a practice of galdr (spellcraft) and seidr (trance), two parts of Anglo Saxon shamanism that inform his subject matter and aesthetic. Cunning, the wise folk term for vital knowledge, is here expressed as contemporary art embeded with symbology and meaning.
‘I seek the reconstitution of a cultural identity liberated from colonisation and capable of embracing its own indigenous roots.’
This practice is now evolving to encompass art toys, with handmade action figures and refurbished custom Matchbox cars, and performance lectures, where Will shares his exploration and findings with talks and live painting. How I Became a Wizard (level 23 Chaotic Good), or To Death and Back Again, a journey through the Northern Mysteries framed through six years of public and personal performances, was hosted at The Unfamiliars scratch lab in 2018.
Selected frames emerged as a series of psychedelic esoteric images drawn from the video editing timeline of three art films, in collaboration with the musician Ed Sykes. Magick and music video collide in the shamanic triptych tale of a rock star's birth, spread across the tapestry of prints. Emphasis is placed upon the composition, occult symbology and cultural references, through the still image.
Will's commercial representation is by The Art Hound Gallery, Cambridge's premier Modern & Contemporary Art gallery, where his screen print, stencil and Posca painting are catalogued.
photo: Maryann Morris Photography