Wakefield First's Maker of the Month: Tony Wade: Artist

12 February 2024

Tony Wade is an artist based in Wakefield who works on a diverse range of creative projects, from engaging art installation to 3D-printed sculptures.

Wakefield First contacted Tony to discover more about his excellent art and what's next for him and his projects.

"I’m a Wakefield-based artist with studio space at The Art House. My career started after I graduated from Bretton Hall College in 1986 with a degree in Fine Art."

"Bretton Hall College has been a major influence on my work as it encouraged social responsibility in artistic practices and has resulted in a great many of my works being co-created by communities across Wakefield."

"Another major influence is Wakefield’s varied landscapes, both rural and urban. Much of my work is about exploring and documenting what you can find there, how it is changing over time, how it affects its communities, and how the communities affect the landscapes."

"Over the past 38 years, my practice has taken me across the UK. Now, however, I mainly focus on the Wakefield district."

"My time is divided between creating exhibitions and installations and delivering workshops and commissions."

"My recent projects include:

  • Rhubarb Shed. The creation of a life-size Rhubarb Forcing Shed for Wakefield Council’s Rhubarb Festival in 2019 with glowing rhubarb and sounds.

  • Boundary No Boundary. 60 paintings, painted outdoors, from the Wakefield District boundary line of the view looking away from the district. Together they form a complete panoramic view from the district looking outwards.

  • Solitary Trees. 64 drawings of 64 solitary trees across the Wakefield District, highlighting their importance in providing wildlife corridors whilst acknowledging the sad loss of hedgerows.

  • Andromeda. 3D printed sculpture, barge-based performance, and musical compositions exploring a story about Knottingley-based Bagley’s Glass Factory. Created with The Art House, Wakefield in 2023.

  • Watermarks. This is my current exhibition, in Wakefield Cathedral until February 9th, 2024, and it explores the district’s waterways through a number of different artworks including textiles, film, drawing, and a musical sculpture created with reclaimed church organ pipes."

"My up-and-coming projects include:

  • ‘Women, Wakefield and Wellness’, working with Wakefield’s Well Women Centre to create an artwork celebrating the creativity of the women that attend the centre. This is funded by Wakefield Council as part of Our Year 2024.

  • ‘60 x 60 at 60’ The creation of 60 x 60 second outdoor improvised musical compositions along contour lines in the Wakefield District that are at 60m above sea level. (I’m also 60 this year so there’s that also)"

To find out more and see a full selection of Tony's projects, please visit her website here: tony wade – making and sharing things (