• Attended Newcastle Art School and completed his BA @ Northumbria University.
  • Begins working exclusivley with scissors and paper.
  • Invited to cut portraits at Alnwick Gardens by The Duchess of Northumberland. Moves to London to work full time as a silhouette portrait artist.
  • Begins experimenting and creating large scale artworks out of thousands of portraits.
  • Invited by Maurizio Cattelan to cut portriats at his exhibition opening at Blenhiem Palace. Today he continues to create miniture portrait / collage art.
'My creative process is slowful and it requires participation. It begins with people coming together with common interests and concerns. I have met, and hand-cut, every single individual person within these artworks. As an artist I bring them together visually, to help others see there is something more.'

Mark Conlin aka The Shadow Cutter, was born in Newcastle in 1970. A British contemporary artist and advocate for the slow art movement. His artworks are created using hundreads of unique miniature portraits. Each individual silhouette portrait is hand cut and marks a moment of connection made between the sitter and the artist during his career. His large artwork is dramatic and thought provoking when viewed at a distance, but it still holds the appeal of miniature art. The viewer is invited to come closer to consider and appreciate the individuals inside, each one a unique work of art.
Conlin was taught art as a young child by his grandfather, who was a trained sculptor working in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Conlin went on to study his Diploma in art at Newcastle Art School and completed his BA Hons in Creative Art at Newcastle University.He then spent many years working in the North East as an artist and facilitator with local community groups and projects.
He was invited to cut silhouette portraits at Alnwick Garden by the Duchess of Northumberland. It was at this time he met American silhouette artist Kerry Cook. She guided him to become a professional silhouette portrait artist. She also taught him to keep duplicate cuttings of all his sitters, a silhouette artistry tradition for hundreds of years. It would be an important moment for the future.

He moved to London in 2009 and began cutting portraits at events to support his family. He became a portrait artist to The Knightsbridge School who invited him to create portraits of the children within their school. The created artworks made from 500 individual portraits sold for thousands of pounds at auction, and the recurring event became the schools most successful fund raiser.

A visit to a Matisse exhibition at the Tate London in 2014 provided inspiration to create large paper cut artworks. Wanting to explore the concepts of relationships and polarities in his art, Conlin made a chance discovery in 2016. Whilst organising his studio, he laid out thousands of portraits from his personal archives. At first, he regretted the advice from Kerry Cook to hold on to them. It was then, in that moment, that he found the creative tools he had been searching for. He has since devoted his time to connecting miniature silhouette portraits into large collage artworks. He now uses this unique artistic process to undertake social silhouette engagement projects.
In 2019 he was invited by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan to cut portraits at the opening of his exhibition at Blenheim Palace. (He was one of the last people to view Cattelan's now infamous gold toilet titled America). Mark Conlin still lives in London making artworks in his studio, engaging with groups as an arts facilitator and cutting silhouette portraits at events around the UK and abroad.