Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Featured Artist - Frances Bloomfield

Frances Bloomfield's work is a combination of model making and photography. She will be exhibiting and selling her work at the Brighton Art Fair this week.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I studied Fine Art at Ravensbourne College of Art – it was a great time and it taught me to be very self reliant.. (you can read into that what you will!) I wish I had learnt more skills, for example screen printing and lithography.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
My grandmother worked for the Old Vic in wardrobe and later she started and ran a very successful Amateur Dramatics company (she has a theatre named after her) – she used to get me and my sister to help her with costumes and sets. This was so much more exciting than anything else I did then and I realise now that watching her make models for the sets had an enormous impact on my current work.

One favourite living artist?
Anselm Kiefer - he is outstanding, uncategorisable and continually the scale and ambition of his work makes my jaw drop.

One favourite historical artist?
This is harder.. too many.. probably Giacometti – the drawings and paintings – they are so exquistely sad.
Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
Mainly from buildings that are in process – either from their birth or falling into ruin and from my dreams.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
Not really the most interesting but it stands out! I was a milk person for a while in Kent and that was fun – I was the only female amongst a dairy full of men – which had its pluses and minuses! I loved seeing the sun come up as I rattled back to the dairy for the huge beakfast that awaited me.

Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
Last year I was commissioned by Marianne Forrest, a watch and clock maker, to do the typographic design for a public art piece to commemorate the steel and coal industries in Ebbw Vale in South Wales. 

At age 16 who most influenced your style?
Braque and Boccioni

Last book / film that blew your mind?
Over your Cities Grass will Grow – a film about Anselm Kiefer directed by Sophie Fiennes
Patti Smith’s autobiography – Just Kids.

What music are you currently listening to?
Imelda May, Regina Spektor and of course Patti Smith

Who would you say buys your work?
People who recognise something of their own dreamworld (or madness) in the work and feel a connection.
Where and what is your studio?
My studio is at the top of our house – the attic was converted last year – it is wonderful – quiet, airy and very light – working up there feels like a huge privilege and I can work on a number of things at once.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
On the whole yes – although the beginning of the academic year is always very stressful. September this year with the new semester and the art fair is going to be a challenge!

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?
If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
Travelling although I wouldn’t really want to leave my family or my studio for very long.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
The Guggenheim in Venice

Any other relevant information?
My daughter, Kate Bloomfield, is currently being represented and shown by a gallery in Notting Hill called Debut Contemporary. She is a fantastic photographer and this is a great opportunity.

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