Francis Upritchard was born in 1976 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. She graduated from Canterbury University of Fine Arts in 1998. That same year she moved to the UK where she lives and works.
In December 2001 the Bart Wells Institute was established by Luke Gottelier and Francis Upritchard in a large squat in East London. The Bart Wells Institute ran for about two years and exhibitions were curated by artists including Sam Basu, Brian Griffiths, David Thorpe and Harry Pye.
Upritchard was short-listed for the Becks Futures prize for an exhibition she made 2003 Save Yourself, a small mummy surrounded by funerary urns which lies on the gallery floor vibrating and moaning. A packet of cigarettes is tucked into its bandages, and a single glass eye can also be seen.
In 2005 Upritchard had simultaneous shows in the Andrea Rosen Gallery and Salon 94. The sculpture Torcello, Balata Figures and a selection of found objects were arranged over two large plinths. Sculptures of sloths, monkeys, orrerys and rocks. In 2005 she also won New Zealand's Walters Prize for art, after being shortlisted for her Artspace show Doomed Doomed All Doomed in 2005
It was announced in 2008 that Upritchard, along with Judy Millar, would be New Zealand's representatives at the 2009 Venice Biennale.Upritchard's installation was entitled Save Yourself. This was Upritchards first major installation of furniture with figures. Across thee rooms in Fondazione Claudio Buziol Palazzo, 3 over sized tables which made up the works Long, Lonely and Dancers, with a mix of references including psychedelic culture, hippies, Pieter Bruegel the elder and Erasmus Grasser
In the 2009 show Feierabend at Kate Macgarry, Upritchard showed with the jewellery designer Karl Fritsch and furniture designer Martino Gamper. The show blended craft, design and fine art in a seamless way, to a point where the viewer became unsure of the authorship of each work. Gesumptkunsthandwerk at the Govett Brewster in the show ‘Stealing the Senses’ was a further exploration of this collaboration. The show was shown again later at Hamish McKay gallery in Wellington. This show included ceramics and bronzes made together by Fritsch Gamper and Upritchard, alongside sculptures and lamps by Upritchard, rings and ornaments by Fritch, furniture and bowls by Gamper
Upritchards first solo museum show in 2009 in Europe was at the Vienna Secession called In die Höhle (into the Cave). The show included works combining furniture and figurative sculptures referencing Sol LeWitt, Gustav Klimt, Beethoven Frieze and Weiner Werkstatte. Her second, at Nottingham Contemporary in 2012 was called A Hand Of Cards. Also in 2012 she showed at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Centre, a show called, A Long Wait. In 2013 Upritchard's show Poato Poem will show in MIMOCA museum in Marugame, Japan.
Francis Upritchard is represented in the UK by Kate Macgarry and in New Zealand by Ivan Anthony Gallery.