09 May 2019

Background work

Over the last few months with a lot of patient tech support I have been working on the background of FrostArt workshops site. Lots of new workshops both in new and familiar places coming up over the next few months, admin time is both precious and tedious. Successful results are almost always invisible to others.

This update should mean I work more efficiently for teaching and really enjoy more focussed and productive studio time. Now to go and handle more natural stuff.

08 May 2019

Familiar work, different setting

I have just installed a small preview show of Cambridge Open Studios work by Riverside Arts group into Habi's. Our local, fabulous Spanish restaurant, the best place to meet and have coffee, breakfast, tapas or paella in Littleport over the last few years. Now also to show small, selective artwork. There are enough local artists to keep the shows interesting and really professional. Keep visiting to see what's available, the work is for sale.

06 May 2019

New venue

I recently visited the lovely Olivia Shave who has set up 'The Studio' near West Harling in Norfolk. Hidden away in the Thetford forest, it is an exceptional place which I am sure will become hugely popular for special gifts. All the suppliers, like myself, are makers, artists and artisan food specialists in Norfolk.
When visiting you are likely to meet the lates additions to their growing flock of sheep, these supply both wool and meat products to the shop.
I have provided Olivia with a small selection of willow work to have in the shop, with the aim of encouraging customers to commission pieces to suit their special occasions and events.

Their face book page is The Studio

29 April 2019

Exploring Trails - Making Marks

I am currently making new work for 'Tracks and Traces' an exhibition showing journeys of five women artists. June 14th - 16th. The setting is a contemporary house in the centre of medieval Bury St Edmunds. Perfect for viewing the artwork and the garden. This exhibition is part of Hidden Gardens of Bury

My work will include expressive baskets, a collection made in response to solving recent personal problems and reaction to community disturbances that climate change protests have brought.

The title 'I can't contain myself' enables making to include a wide variety of materials and forms.
In the nature of Slow Making these pieces include materials collected over many years and techniques learned and adapted from weaving or stitching fibres and yarns from different contexts and sometimes in very unexpected ways. I am enjoying going back to basics, handling familiar materials in different contexts.

I have again spent time making in the beautiful setting of the  Bishops of Ely's greenhouse and some of these pieces will be previewed in the The Bishops Garden when it is open for Open Gardens in Ely, June 9th

There will be a small preview of Riverside Arts Open Studios work at Habi's in Littleport from May 7th, go in for the best coffee, tapas and paella in the district. All work will be for sale.

Family - Sarah Gull
Basket detail - Jane Frost
Textile - Bridget Buchan
Stone - Fay Jones
Mosaic - Genista Anahita Dunham

29 January 2019

Cambridge Open Studios 2019

This is the time of year when planning for Cambridge Open Studios starts. I will be taking part again with Riverside Arts in Little Ouse, it always seems so far away when we get together and it is hard to imagine what July hot summer weather will feel like but I am sure the next few months will go very quickly. The new website for Riverside Arts is here
I am working on collections to put into Open Studios, including expressive containers made linked to walks and conversations as well as more traditional baskets. Going back to basics, enjoying handling materials.

09 November 2018

Completed commission

I was so pleased to be asked by Marion Leeper to make a screen for her story telling events, the only instructions were 'no straight lines really' so I could spend some time working out how to make the size she wanted and make it fit in the car, then to make sure it would safely stand up. Look out for it in library events coming up soon.

I made this in the workshop on my allotment which is shown in the book by Gill Heriz 'A Woman's Shed' so it got lots of interest from allotment neighbours. It's not quite live art performance when working there, but at times very similar.

30 May 2018

Open Greenhouse, Open Garden

On Sunday 10th June I will be 'in residence' at the Open Garden of The Bishops House Ely
I go here when I have the luxury of thinking time and the space for making is very special.  I feel in good company where Slow Making has taken place for hundreds of years with many skilled craftspeople.
This year I will re-present work that has not been seen for a few years, in the nature of Slow Making work changes as it ages and may be adapted or added to. there will also be new work using skills I have learned recently.

30 November 2017

Trying not to lose more

Today is Remembrance for Lost Species Day, this year the emphasis is on Pollinators. I have made envelopes using plant materials and put collected seeds in to send or give to others, in the hope that we do not lose any more either of the plants that feed them or the insects that Pollinate our food. We will all be so much poorer if the non-human residents in our shared world are not cared for.

29 November 2017

WW1 memorial exhibition

For eighteen months OuseLife artists, have been working on ideas, materials and technical problems to make an installation in the west tower of Ely Cathedral  next year. The theme of this exhibition is the centenary memorial of World War 1.

The actual making is always the easiest part, meetings and problem solving are the challenges. Sometimes communicating between artists can be challenging too, we all have strong visual ideas, translating those into words and keeping to deadlines is much more difficult.

Images of work in progress have been shared among the group, encouraging each other is an important part of the project when materials and techniques are a collaboration. I am only showing a taster here.

Deadlines for this have to be well planned, publicity and installation will need to go smoothly as there are so many variables to go wrong and people involved
It is fun playing in such a wonderful public building with so many different uses, so many people but it does mean we have to be aware of and sensitive to their interests.

21 November 2017

art science final phase and reflections

The final exhibition of Art and Science with SRUK will be shown on December 6th, 7-9p.m.  at Barnabas Church, Mill Road, Cambrideg, CB1 2BD

The art-science collaboration with SRUK has been brought up some interesting preconceptions about different fields of work. The mutual value is not often recognised in the academic world. 
While working alongside a scientist it has been interesting to hear from her the perceptions of how artists work, there is a romantic and unreal view of artists as professionals. The comments at the panel discussion reinforced this and brought up something that I had not even thought of. The comment was 'when artists work with scientists they will be recognised for their work, it is a good thing to have on the cv. For a scientist this is not the case, it is not considered beneficial to research or professional development.'

I think the misunderstanding may be that the collaboration is useful from a professional point of view, but in my experience this recognition does not help in making a living as an artist, unless of course there is an institution or business with a commercial interest involved. Even then the art world is so often seen and experienced as a recreational activity, so not a business to think about financial viability. This means that even when working alongside universities or other organisations the artist is not seen as a professional consultant who deserves to be recognised with suitable fees. 

I find there is always a need to educate when working with clients. a-n, an organisation who has represented artists in the UK since the 1970's, has produced several documents over the years for artists to share with clients, commissioners and institutions. One of the latest is an in depth document which includes the national value of art and the work of artists to the national economy. This might be considered heavy reading to some, but it is essential that artists are seen as both valued and respected for their long term contribution to society. 

Thinking along these lines I am more inclined to try and work more rigorously, to focus on the work that really makes people think about process and environment. I am so often attracted to making work that is potentially commercial, but never seems to be really successful. I will revisit Fair Trade: Material Matters and other projects to reflect on this.