Well now – I’ve got myself a London studio!

I looked at it and signed the deal yesterday, so all very new.

Art Hub Studios in the shadow of the Thames barrier. I now have access to every imaginable print process, a darkroom, a ceramic studio and framing!

…….and my Art Hub studios has links with Deptford x and our sister Art Hub Studio’s Gallery at Creekside in Deptford. All good.

I have a lovely second floor solo space in the print studio block. Fifteeen print studios and another studio block over the way.
The studios are arranged around an open plan print studio with incredible equipment – most of which I will have to learn to use and some of which I have never even seen before.

Huge industrial buildings with a workman’s cafe on the corner advertising boxing bouts! Walking distance to the Thames.
It is 25 mins straight drive down the A20 for me and has massive on-site parking.
Really no excuse for me not to use it properly.

A wonderful chance to learn new skills and reinvigorate my practice. I can’t see me ever being a neat, clean printer but am up for using print in subversive ways. At college I did a huge amount of very free mono printing so maybe I will find my way back there…….

Maybe I should start by practising with white emboss. That way I can’t get ink on the blankets and get railroaded out in the first week!

Now I have to hope I can move in before December 5th – when I lose my present studio. I have to wait until they finish refurbishing the etching studio and darkroom before I can move to my new one.

Thank you to everyone who sent me solutions and offered me storage.

A very much happier Franny!


Studio update…offer of a damp one in a scenic stableyard with other studios. Currently occupied by a sculptor, so slight damp not a problem for them.

I am now looking into some of the London group studios. On the plus side it would bring me into the London art scene and reinvigorate my practice and give me new contacts. On the downside I am very unsure how I feel about driving over half an hour away to get to a studio.[ Mine was ten minutes down the road]

Will I use it or surreptitiously start working on things at home and using the studio as a store room- which is what happened in the winter with the previous one.

I have a feeling it would depend on the community in the new space. Some studios have huge amounts of artists and no contact point.

Meanwhile planning for our Sevenoaks Visual Arts Forum exhibition moves forward slowly. It is planned that it should have the ethos and the look of a pop up shop. Visitors will be invited to bring a new unwanted gift and leave it on a trestle table having written out a card explaining why it was unsatisfactory…in return they may take something else from the table having written a card telling us why they chose it.

As each gift is donated it will be photographed and the image together with the donaters and takers cards will be displayed on the wall.

A video of the SVAF members talking to camera about gift giving will play on the wall. A gift wrapping service will be provided.

Talking about gift giving in meetings has thrown up some real rants.. I am just hoping we can capture the passion on camera.

Too many presents, vouchers, reciept or no receipt? The hurt when people who should know better get it very wrong. Equality of the gift, how much is too much to spend? Getting a gift that someone has obviously not wanted themselves..re-gifting,giving money…………

I know from my Collection Plate Project to expect the unexpected where exchange is involved.

It will be very interesting to see how the public view the exhibition and if they get on board.

We must be in the Zeitgeist though…Jerwood ‘s exhibition ‘Now I Gotta Reason’ says ‘the exhibition content and events programme will build and develop over the course of the exhibition, exploring the activity and economy of exhibition making and systems of use value and exchange..’

Lot of it going on….

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My last post saying i was back on track must have tempted the Fates. Yesterday I learnt that all the artists in my studios are to be evicted. Four weeks to get out and find somewhere else to put all my paints and my carefully chosen paper, my bones and stones and postcards and clippings, my plinths and boxes, my framed work, my canvases, my ‘I might get round to it’ bits and pieces that only I would understand….

Makes me want to drive to Gatwick and get on a plane to the sun. And not bother coming back.

I refuse to be parted from my beautiful old plans chest. I waited so long for one. Only proper artists have a plans chest… and I do.

I think it and I will have to take refuge in a Big Yellow store box. I shall be the first Big Yellow artist in residence….or maybe I wouldn’t be? Love the idea. Can I arrange it in four weeks?

Went to the Electron Studios in Hastings to drown my sorrows by helping Tina Brown put up her installation piece ‘Excavating Babel’. Its huge. More to be done tomorrow…

Loved handling the books and watching it grow. I had no idea all the sizes had to fit and that each book was numbered. I am ashamed to say that when it was at Pushing Print I didn’t look properly. All sorts of things to find.

Exhibition is part of Telling Stories which I am involved with. Good to meet up with new friends….

Tomorrow I am phoning a London studio block about half an hour away . Can I afford it is the big question, followed by how often will I go that far? Excited by the idea though, so maybe it was time for a new vista from the studio window?


Well, here we are….back again!

Life does a lot of unexpected intervening but I am back on track for a while hopefully – until the Christamas festivities and all the planning and buying start eating into my precious art time.

I always think I am doing nothing very much but when I sit down to think about it I realise that actually I am… too much to put into one blog even.

Proposals – they take up so much time and consume your energy and if done jointly require patience and negotiating skills from the first word to the last…. however Sevenoaks Visual Forum have had their proposal for a Christmas exhibition in the Kaliedoscope Gallery accepted.

Should be fun. It’s a contemporary, interactive installation examining the psychology of gift giving.

We realised quickly that people have strong views on what constitutes an obligation [time spent looking for presents, money spent etc]; what they read as sincerity, equality of effort, regifting, too many presents, things they hated from people who they thought understood them, vouchers, giving money………….I just hope we can capture some of that energy when members talk to camera for the video…

Last night the ghouls were about and your truly was deep in the Old Vic Tunnels under Waterloo station. Great location…huge spaces, if somewhat damp. I went to hear Rodrigo y Cabriella play guitar at the Day of the Dead Festival but was amazed to find great art everywhere. A real adrenaline rush if you’re not expecting it!

Hew Locke had a full sized boat, Graciela Iturbide’s her fabulous black and white photography, Nancy Fouts sculptures ironically re-presented Westen death iconography …. so much good stuff.

Of the music and performances the ‘Theatre of the Dolls’ stole my heart, and over us all hung huge paper Alebrijes [ imaginary beings] by the collective Le Gun…what a night.

Occasions like that fill up the art sump and take you places you hadn’t choosen to go.

Am I the only one who finds it roosts somewhere in the brain and reappears, sometimes years later, quite unbidden?

Meanwhile I have a skull tatoo on my hand that was our entry mark – it is not coming off – and I have a meeting with the Arts Officer at 4pm.

Looks suitably edgy.

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