Ian Watson


Ian Watson is investigating local urban legends and half remembered stories to create a parallel future within the city. Cardiff's familiar architecture and highways have become subsumed by nature, governed by the asbestos Tarantula and the monkey jockey who once rode a dog through the streets, freed by a circus flooding. Once mysterious visitors, these animals now thrive in the city, free of human intervention and control.


For his Cardiff Contemporary residency Ian will focus on a different kind of outsider, that being of animal and plant life which has been introduced to the city. This will rely upon personal accounts as well as press and internet records of escaped pets or circus animals and the slightly more common stories of errant Mink, Terrapins, and invasive plants such as Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed.

Drawing from these accounts, photographs of the locales of the city and perspectives of 'outsiders' Ian will produce a series of works that look at a future without the presence of humans and with the accelerated spread of flora and fauna which has been introduced to the project, via urban legend and repeated stories.

Ian Watson was born in Crawley and studied Fine Art at Howard Gardens, Cardiff. He lives and works in Cardiff.

His ink drawings and painted works are largely informed by a love of flora and fauna and a misspent youth hiding out with like-minded mutants in video rental shops and woodlands of East Sussex, head buried in headphones, soaking up the occult messages from a collection of heavy metal cassettes, B-movies and weird fiction comics.

Ian's work often depicts apparent outsiders, these characters are placed in familiar clothing and the generic woodland environments of folk stories and cautionary tales.