Exhibitions Registry

Gallery: Chris Francis

 


Artist Statement:

The current direction of my work reverts to the exploration and experimentation experienced as a student in the 60s – those heady days of the Beatles and social and cultural change. Consequently, the materials used are more readily found in a DIY store rather than Winsor and Newton. I had initially begun working with natural materials such as small wooden panels with distinctive wood grains which echoed the patterns and shapes of female genitalia.

Between leaving art college in 1967 until the time when I went professional’ renting a studio, I had maintained my interest in the study of the female form (in artistic terms) with regular life drawing and painting classes in the evening. Much of this involved expressing the sensuality of the shape and form – as well the colour of the skin (latterly with female models of different ethnic groups). Some of this work involved painting from the model onto three-dimensional display models.

In a struggle to move from the figurative, I experimented producing specific body parts, firstly with conventional techniques with acrylics but this was developed using them mixed with metallic versions. Later, I produced cut-out shapes primed with PVA which bore a remarkable resemblance to stone bas relief.

What have been overriding fascinations are the juxtaposition of the curve to the geometric line even if only in contrast to the frame and also the smooth lines of the body to unruly forms and textures of detailed parts such as pubic hair and the inner labia within the outer parts of the female genital area.

I have attempted to make my works:

1. Provocative (in hopefully reflecting architecture and design)

2. Symbolic (representing the female genitalia based on egg shapes, for example)

3. Witty (using either pretentious French titles or ones with double meanings ‘Laying the Golden Egg’)

Despite the subject matter, I never set out to shock but merely to stimulate the viewer to consider and be visually excited by the beauty and sensuality of the subject in much the same way as a person in awe of representation of other matter.

Teenage influences were Monet and the single motif and the adoption of structure by Cezanne.   However, an eclectic mix of artists has inspired me. Contemporaries of my generation whose work has stimulated me are Pop Artists such as Richard Hamilton and Allan Jones as well as painters like Euan Uglow. The bold forms of Henry Moore have also had a significant effect on my work despite the scale my submitted pieces. Perhaps, the greatest inspiration of all was the photographer Bill Brandt.



Biography:

Studied at College of Further Education, Sutton Coldfield (Pre-Diploma) and gained Diploma in Art and Design up graded to BA at College of Art, Stoke-on-Trent (now Staffordshire University). Subsequent part-time study includes adult education classes at Sir John Cass College and adult education institutes in his home town of Birmingham and the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Lewisham and Bexley. Residential courses including the Slade Summer School.

Professional Artist from March 2000 – to date.

Work exhibited at the following Erotic Art exhibitions:

Aphrodisia – Beaumont Hall Studios, St Albans

Guild of Erotic Artists, Beaumont Hall Studios, St Albans

Menier Gallery (Erotic Art Show 2011)

Olympia Erotica Art Galley, London

Art Erotica, Gallery 127, Cork Street, London

 

Work exhibited at the following London venues:

Mall Gallery (Pastel Society, Royal Society of British Artists, Hesketh Hubbard and Royal Society of Marine Artists)

Morley, Westminster and Menier Galleries (United Society of Artists Annual Opens including 2012)

Gallery 47, Bloomsbury

Wine, Kensington

Stark Gallery, Lee Green

John Jones Gallery, Finsbury

Discovery Centre Exhibition, Greenwich

St Alfege’s Millennium Exhibition, Greenwich

Affordable Art Fair, Battersea

Participated in deptfordx arts festival

Blackheath Art Society, Blackheath

City headquarters of London Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Canvass Club, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Childers Street Open Studios 2001-5


Out of Town Shows

Crypt Ballery, St Ives; Mine Gallery, Carshalton The Art

House, Emsworth ; West Street Gallery (Faversham) plus Fisherton Mill

(Salisbury); Well Hall Pleasance (Eltham), Hall Place (Bexley), Trinity Arts Centre

(Tunbridge Wells), as well River and Rowing Museum (Henley)


Associated Activities

Articles for A+I, The Artist and Paint; Demonstrations at Art Groups throughout South East and short courses at Earnley Concourse and sessional tutor Kent Adult Education Service. Runs Masterclasses in life drawing and painting at Waterloo Action Centre, SE1

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