Mario Popham is a photographer, curator and educator of Japanese-British descent, currently based in Manchester, UK. He graduated from the Manchester School of Art in 2007 and has since continued to work on personal projects and commissions. His interests lie in man’s paradoxical relationship to the natural environment and how this finds expression in the post-industrial areas of Britain, with particular focus on the North.

His work has been exhibited in the UK and abroad, most recently at HOME, Manchester and Groundwork Gallery, King’s Lynn for his ongoing collaboration with artist Tom Baskeyfield. He is currently developing long-term projects in both the UK and Italy that explore place in the context of industrial legacy, nature and community.

In his role as visual arts coordinator at Waterside, Trafford, he has produced and curated a number of exhibitions for the visual arts program consisting of digital art, animation with a  particular emphasis on contemporary photography.

In 2021 produced the graduate showcase program, First Light in partnership with Open Eye Gallery and Castlefield Gallery. The project, which aimed to provide a platform and opportunity for graduates during Covid, culminated in an exhibition in Warrington, a series of online events and a publication.

Mario is currently co-leading as creative producer on the Open Eye Hub project in Wigan and Leigh –a space shaped by the community with photography at its core – set to launch in autumn 2022.

Telephone: +44(0)7940 913666


Shaped by Stone, ‘On the Stony Path’ Group Exhibition, GroundWork Gallery, Norfolk, 2017

Shaped by Stone, ’Northern Light’ group exhibition, SIA Gallery, Sheffield, 2016

Shaped by Stone, Jack Sevens Gallery & Teggs Nose Visitors Centre, Macclesfield 2016

Looking Glass, ’Transition’group exhibition, PS Mirabel Gallery, Manchester, 2016

Enduring Growth, ‘Inside Out’ group exhibition, Wuhan Province, China, 2015

Enduring Growth, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2014

Track Record, Islington Mill, Manchester, 2011

Suburban Gothic, The Art Corner, Manchester, 2010

In the Shadow of Progress, Tarshito Studios, Rome, 2007

Observer Hodge Award, Guardian Newsroom, 2006

Nikon Discovery Awards, Olympia Centre, London, 2007

In the Shadow of Progress, Tarshito Studio, Rome, 2007


ACE Grants For Arts – Awarded, 2017

Barnaby Arts Festival Commission – Winner , 2015

Tim Hetherington Trust Award – Nomination, 2014

Magenta Flash Forward Award – Winner, 2013

Nikon Discovery Awards – Shortlisted, 2007

Observer Hodge Award – Highly Commended, 2006


HOME, Manchester

The Independent

RNCM, Manchester

24/7 Theatre Festival

AG Photographic Journal

The British Council

Panos South Asia

Contact Theatre, Manchester

Random House Publications

Community Arts Northwest

Manifesto, Rome