Francis Upritchard was born in New England, New Zealand. She graduated from the Ilam School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1997 after which she moved to London.
Upritchard works with sculpture, often making artworks out of objects she has found in attics & charity shops, making reference to museum displays, ancient artefacts and ancient cultures. To these found objects, she appends hand-made sculpted features modelled in clay. She has also made sculptures that paraphrase shrunken heads which are displayed in cabinets or on pedestals. Since 2006, the artist’s work has become more centred on the human figure; modelled with wire armatures over which Upritchard lays polymer clay which is then painted. Her figures remain either nude or are clothed in costumes and adornments also made by the artist.
Since the mid-1990s, Upritchard has exhibited in a number of group and solo shows around the world and represented New Zealand at the 2009 Venice Biennale with Save Yourself. She also exhibited at the ‘Viva Arte Viva’ 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. In 2018 Upritchard exhibited ‘Wetwang Slack’, a site-specific installation on display in the Curve Gallery, Barbican Centre in London. This installation, which transforms the space into three ‘galleries’ – and which draws on ceramics, tapestry and glassblowing – explores how scale, colour and texture are transformed as the audience moves through these spaces. Upritchard’s artwork is also featured in Iniva’s ‘What do you feel?’ Emotional Learning Card resource.
Upritchard lives and works in London.