09 Jun — 04 Aug 2018
The Picture Room, Newlyn Art Gallery
A new body of work initiated by time Frears recently spent working alongside students and staff at Plymouth University.
Her self-imposed rule was to work only with completely new processes and materials while in Plymouth. These new works then set others in motion back in the studio in St Ives.
In the show are works on paper made in Plymouth using letterpress and photopolymer plates as well as paintings and drawings on wood, paper and canvas.
I ♥ Plymouth
“AA2A is a national programme that allows selected artists access to art departments in universities. Since October 2017 I have been travelling regularly to the University of Plymouth. Working somewhere different has been exciting for me and having new conversations with students, staff and the wider art community of the city has been very interesting. I already liked Plymouth a lot and the people I have met have been extremely warm and welcoming.
I made just one rule for myself for my Plymouth adventures - I would only work with processes new to me. All the works on paper you see here were made in Plymouth. The three small paintings are included as they have changed direction as a result of my time spent there. Sometimes the effects of working somewhere new take a while to kick in. Plymouth will be in my head for a long time and I hope to make more work there somehow.
The wonderful letterpress facility at the university is run by (firm but fair) Paul Collier. Selecting from thousands of wood and metal type and setting it letter by letter is quietly thrilling and really quite addictive.
I spent time in the print studio too with senior print technician Claire Gladstone, experimenting with new ways of working. I had never made polymer plates and, despite it being a deeply mysterious process, made three metal plates, two of those with photos I took in Rome in November. I also worked with the offset press, a huge beast that transfers an evolving painted image onto a roller that dumps the image on the paper then returns to receive the next layer.
Back in the studio, as a result of my Plymouth escapades, new things have been happening to paintings too – I mean, slightly thick paint, more green, open eyes looking right at you, a playing card. What has Plymouth done to me?
Thanks to all the Fine Art staff and students at University of Plymouth for making me feel so welcome. To Lucy Rollins at Plymouth Art Centre for being great and to Rachel Brown for top suppers in the city.”
Naomi Frears, 2018