More exhibition news on the Artworks blog!
Ten Artworks artists (past & present) have paintings currently on show at the stunning venue, The Apex, in Bury St Edmunds this November. The exhibition is called Ad Libitum, in reference to artists having a ‘free hand’ in their work.
All the work in the exhibition is new to Artworks, having not been exhibited in any previous Artworks exhibitions. The light & space of the upstairs gallery is a wonderful backdrop to everyone’s work – we hope you will visit if you are in the area!
The nine Artworks artists featured in this show are: Mike Ashley, Gillian Crossley-Holland, Helen Dougall, Helen Du Feu, Janet French, Jazz Green, Eleonora Knowland, Marianne Koby-Johnson, Katie Millard and Gabrielle Stoddart.
Some exhibition photographs will be posted shortly. The exhibition, Ad Libitum, runs from 29th October to 28th November 2012 (full details below).
Suffolk Coastal Deckchairs was a fundraising project in 2010 featuring over 40 deckchairs designed by invited celebrities and local artists to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice. The charity deckchair auction raised £35,000 for the Hospice.
|Artist Janet French with Jane Petit, Chief Executive of St Elizabeth Hospice|
When Janet French submitted her deckchair canvas design for the fundraising Suffolk Coastal Deckchairs Project in 2010, a campaign was launched at St Elizabeth Hospice to get enough donations to keep the deckchair at the Hospice for patients, visitors, staff and volunteers to enjoy.
Chief Executive of the Hospice Jane Petit hosted Janet French for the special viewing and gave her a tour of the Hospice, including the deckchair in situ, before sitting down to join the Larch Group celebration.
|Janet French’s deckchair canvas|
Janet French’s deckchair canvas mirrors an aerial view of the Hospice garden and it is currently on show in the Day Unit at St Elizabeth Hospice.
Janet French is a printmaker whose work explores the fragile symbiotic relationship between man and the natural environment.
About St Elizabeth Hospice
St Elizabeth Hospice provides palliative care by improving life for people living with a progressive illness.
Their work is centred around an individual’s needs, which means specialist support, wherever it is required, whether at home, in the community or at the Hospice.
They help people deal with problems such as pain, anxiety and fatigue, as well as offer practical advice and family support.
The Hospice is an independent charity which provides its services free of charge. The Hospice currently has fifteen charity shops throughout Suffolk and a distribution centre in Ipswich. The funds raised through the shops enable St Elizabeth Hospice to continue to provide services free of charge to the local community.
Artworks artist Janet French has recently begun an exciting collaborative art project with another artist, the printmaker Emma Buckmaster.
|Quercus, Fordham, etching on oak leaf handmade paper|
The aim of this project is to produce a series of etchings of native tree species printed on to paper created from the trees’ own leaves. Once completed, the delicate prints are trapped between two sheets of glass and framed to allow light to enhance the fine details of the image and the translucent quality of the leaves.
Five tree ‘portraits’ have now been completed and they are currently on show, together with other new work by Janet and Emma, at The Assembly House in Norwich, Norfolk.
The exhibition runs from Friday 2nd December 2011 to Monday 2nd January 2012, open Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5pm.
|Tilia, Braxted, etching on Lime leaf handmade paper|
The flowers of the Common Lime have a narcotic effect on bees which may be found asleep under the tree. The branches are full of mistletoe and the leaves have been used to make the paper on which the tree portrait is printed.
Emma and Janet currently co-Chair the Gainsborough’s House Print Workshop in Sudbury, Suffolk.
For further details on their work you can visit Janet and Emma’s websites:
Welcome to another online preview of six more mini artworks from the Janette Place Artworks Prize Draw, currently on display in the Artworks 12th annual art exhibition at Blackthorpe Barn. The Prize Draw tickets are just £2 each.
The ‘Janette Place’ Mini Artworks Prize Draw takes place on Saturday 1st October 2011 at 4pm. Prize Draw tickets are on sale at just £2 each throughout the duration of the Artworks exhibition – just enquire at the reception desk. All the mini artworks are original works of art!
The Artworks 12th annual art exhibition runs from 10 September – 2 October 2011, open daily from 10am to 5pm, at the beautiful location of Blackthorpe Barn in Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP30 9JG.
Entry to the Artworks exhibition is free, there is ample parking with full disability access (two wheelchairs are also available if required). There is also the very popular Artworks Shop selling small paintings, original prints & drawings, ceramics, sculpture and glassworks, in addition to an extensive selection of artists’ postcards & greetings cards.
Follow any of the links to the right to find out more about Artworks.
This week, the Artworks blog has a ‘take five’ chat with artist printmaker Janet French. Janet’s artistic process & practice is concerned with nature and the environment:
‘My work explores the fragile symbiotic relationship between man and the natural environment. I work in tune with nature to create work that is testimony to my interaction with materials, conditions, seasons and weather.’
|Janet French, Fagus Diptych – Part One, 62cm x 62cm|
Nature, landscape and the environment seems to be a strong theme in much contemporary art. In your own work, you use natural materials such as beech leaves to create handmade paper which you then use to print on.
Are there any contemporary artists that you particularly admire?
Environmental artists like Chris Drury, Richard Long and David Nash most interest me because I share the desire to work with the available materials in the environment.
|Chris Drury, Mushroom Circle, 1995 © Chris Drury|
My ideas often come from unexpected sources. A few years ago I joined a group of London artists in an exhibition in Bethnal Green. The common theme among the group was ‘earth’ and I decided to look at satellite images to see what earth could be seen in the area of the gallery. This sparked a continuing fascination with aerial views. Other ideas simmer away for years, occasionally rising to the surface but never quite resolving in to finished work.
|Janet French, Bethnal Green, 54cm x 56cm|
Could you describe your art studio?
My studio space is a converted garage. It is full of bags and buckets of leaves and fibres in various stages of papermaking production. I have a small table top printing press which is good for small work and for working through ideas. For larger work I go to Gainsborough’s House Print Workshop which has a wonderful range of printing presses. I like to plan a piece of work and make the paper in my studio at home and then produce the finished print at Gainsborough’s House.
What do you listen to while working in your studio?
Turning the radio on to Radio 4 is part of the ritual I go through as soon as I enter my studio, along with lights, heater, overall etc. Whether or not it stays on depends on what I’m doing. If I’m preparing paper or clearing up ink I like to listen but as soon as I’m doing something creative I turn the radio off. In a typical day I never seem to hear a whole programme.
What time in the day are you at your most creative?
I am always up early and most creative in the morning. If I get off to a good start early, I can keep going until about 5pm but I can never work in the evening.
What’s in your current sketchbook?
My present sketchbook has become a great unwieldy heap of drawings, photos and notes on scraps of paper, all of which relate to my present obsession of light seen through trees.
If you had to choose between using a pen or a pencil to draw with – which one and why?
I prefer pen to pencil and particularly like water soluble ink pens with watercolour paper. I like to draw quickly, add some water, and when it is dry work back into the drawing with pen.
What do you think is the role of an artist in contemporary society?
One of the by-products of creativity is the ability to see things in a different way and to present new ideas in a way that no one has seen before, as well as highlighting beauty and the expression of human emotions. In some cases, artists are in a position to reach multitudes of people by using their status to bring attention to a worthwhile cause or environmental issue. For example, Richard Long’s Africa Mud Maps, which Long has made for auctions and whose proceeds have contributed to aid for the developing world.
|Richard Long, Africa Footprints 1986 © Richard long (collection TATE)|
One of the most interesting things that artists can do is spur public conversation and in future I may find that I am able to draw attention to endangered species or threatened habitat through my own work. I am currently working on a collaborative print project with another printmaker Emma Buckmaster, and our aim is to produce a series of tree portrait etchings on related leaves.
|Janet French, Into the Light, mixed media on beech leaves, 34cm x 32cm|
Thank you Janet for sharing a little of your creative world with the Artworks blog!
Janet French has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Colchester School of Art. In addition to Artworks, Janet is currently Joint Chairperson of Gainsborough’s House Print Workshop, and is a member of the Essex Art Society and the collaborative artist group Nine Artists.