A very impressive art exhibition
Featured artists for 2018 are Sue Prince, Kirstie Adamson and Frances Gibson.
I’m a contemporary folk artist using hand-made egg tempera, I tell stories about people and their places, celebrating rural life and commenting on society. In our digital world every image has the same importance; I’m interested in reasserting the weighting of meaningful events and ideas by marking them in an ancient way.
Having always been an illustrator for others, I visited Sweden in 2004 and there I discovered my own voice; I found a form of Swedish folk art (bonad painting) that had existed from 1740 to 1850 when it died out due to commercial competition from newly industrialised paper production. I developed this form and returned with it to Sweden where I was asked to teach it to Swedish people. So for 11 years I ran classes every summer. We have now revived it in its native place.
This form uses eggs and earth pigments, a very natural method, and for me, living on our organic dairy farm in the Peak District, it fits my life and values.
More recently my work has expanded to encompass community folk art paintings, (like the Bayeux Tapestry) telling stories about places, from the Swedish Viking saga Ebbe Skammelsson with 20 participants to the history of Ashbourne with over 170 participants. In planning at the moment is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for a community in Leek.
Magazine Collage Artist Kirstie Adamson
I have always had a great interest in finding ways of using waste materials in my artwork. I was introduced to this technique at art college in 1994 when I was asked to collage a still life using newspapers. I loved the effect and have repeatedly returned to it. I turned my attention to reclaimed metal during my degree in Applied Arts at the University of Derby which I completed in 2000. I experimented with a variety of materials following this but in 2007 I decided to specialise in magazine collage. I don’t use any imagery from the magazines but I use the colours and textures that I find as an alternative to paint. It is intentional that when viewing my work that the method used is not instantly obvious. At first glance it is often assumed that I have used paint and only on closer inspection does it become apparent that the piece consists entirely of ripped and cut magazines. The intention is to challenge our perceptions, highlighting how small changes in our methods and materials can enhance our work while reducing impact.
I am inspired by the natural environment and children feature heavily as I am moved by the simplistic way they see the world and the joy they take in the little things. My 2014/15 collection ‘Nature’s Child’ reflects the innocent pleasure that children take in their environment, often lost as we grow older. Depicting precious moments in time and preserving happy memories, captures, in essence, my main drive in pursuing environmentally friendly practices. What is precious to us is worth protecting and the greatest motivation is working for the those we love.
My current series ‘Fragile’ is a revisit to the concept behind this earlier collection. I am working on a range of canvases with loose edges in which I plan to explore the possibilities of negative space and fluid boundaries. Following the recent loss of loved ones and my own experiences with ill health I have begun to add a sense of fragility to my work which I feel further expresses the need to preserve precious moments and childlike appreciation often lost as we become embroiled in adult life and responsibility.
I am also experimenting with perception, not only in encouraging the viewer to look more closely at the construction of the piece but also in the way the eye is tricked. The rough edge gives the impression that the canvas has been scraped back to reveal an image hidden beneath and the paper is placed to add a sense of movement in some of the larger works.
Each piece is constructed entirely from ripped and cut magazines, nothing is added, no paint or bleach is used although I have recently experimented with burning and sanding areas of the collage to create different effects.
With London and it’s vibrant art scene serving as a constant reel of inspiration, Frances’ work reflects the diversity and character exhibited daily in the city. Found scraps of paper, newspaper clippings and pages from books determine each and every work. Obscure animals, feminist icons and everyday citizens make up the carefully selected subjects that stare out at us from collage canvases.
Frances has recently graduated from Central Saint Martin’s with a 1st class (hons) degree in Fine Art.