Mark Fairnington: The Horniman's hidden world

Jo Hatton by Horniman Museum and Gardens, Greater London


£11,205 raised
164 funders

Funded 27 April 2015

0% funded

117% funded

We need your help to fund Mark Fairnington’s autumn exhibition at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, where we will display his paintings alongside the specimens that inspired them. The objects will be presented as they are in storage, evoking the wonder Mark experienced when he found them for the first time.

Mark Fairnington is a British painter whose work explores the lineage of animal and plant painting, and its relation to how humans understand the natural world. He has been exploring the natural history specimens at the Horniman over the past five years; looking into hidden spaces in our collection and painting the objects he has found. Like many museums, most of our collection is not on public display – thousands of objects are kept boxed and wrapped in storage. These storage depots are full of peculiar, breathtaking and surreal images: taxidermy specimens wrapped in transparent plastic sheets, skeletons perched in wooden boxes, a small pet dog lying in a nest of tissue paper.

Please help us raise the money so that we can show you more of Mark’s stunning work and reveal the secrets of the Horniman store. In return for your donation, you will receive one of a number of wonderful rewards. These include limited-edition postcards, prints and bags, as well as a chance to meet Mark behind the scenes.

About the artist

Mark Fairnington


© Colin Davison

Mark Fairnington has shown extensively in museums and private galleries in the US and Europe. His practice is founded on painting as a primary method of research, and his pictures – which are drawn from many sources, particularly photography – combine obsessive surface detail with sensuous precision. They examine how painting, as a meticulously constructed surface, can interrogate and re-present an image. The subjects of Fairnington’s paintings are made more singular through being painted. He has worked with the Imperial War Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Horniman Museum and Gardens and the Wellcome Collection. Fairnington’s most recent solo exhibition Unnatural History was a retrospective at the Mannheimer Kunstverein and Galerie Peter Zimmermann in Germany.

Thanks totes!

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far and taken us to 15% of our funding targent Read more

Interview: Mark Fairnington

The artist tells us more about his forthcoming exhibition at the Horniman, which we're crowdfunding, and explains his fascination with taxidermy Read more

Four weeks to go – half-way there!

It's week four of our crowdfunding project – we visit Mark in his studio to learn more about his creative process Read more

From store to show

We are inching ever closer to our target of £9,500 at 36%. At this point we’d like to give a brief insight into what putting on an exhibition like this actually involves Read more

New work by Mark Fairnington

With just two weeks of our crowdfunding project left we are excited to give you an exclusive first look at one of Mark’s newest works Read more

Don’t miss out on the chance to own a piece of Mark’s work!

All of our rewards have been created exclusively for the Art Happens campaign and there are now only 12 days left to get your hands on them Read more

More information about Mark’s beautiful scarf reward

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated over the weekend and taken us to 49% Read more

Only 6 days left to help us bring Mark’s wonderful paintings to the Horniman

With under a week left of our crowdfunding campaign, we spoke to Mark about his artwork Doncombe Aga Khan Read more

Five days left for us to raise the remaining 8%!

We are inching ever closer to our total, so we want to treat you to a look at Mark’s plans for the exhibition Read more

We've made it!

You have made art happen at the Horniman. We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us reach our target – this really wouldn’t have been possible without your support Read more

For funders only

Up close with the objects

What is happening behind the scenes at the Horniman? Read more

For funders only

Collected and Possessed opens on Saturday 28 November

We're currently installing Mark Fairnington's exhibition – here's a sneak peek for our funders Read more

For funders only

Collected and Possessed has opened

Mark Fairnington’s much anticipated exhibition Collected and Possessed has finally been unveiled Read more


23 March 2015 - 10:36

Thank you for your question Kevin, the beautiful silk scarf is 34 inches square.


20 March 2015 - 17:07

boringly practical question - how big is the silk scarf?

Lorraine, LONDON

3 March 2015 - 22:58

Looking forward to discovering the hidden treasures of the Horniman Museum!

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