The Chichester Art Trail has finished! For the first time, Alan and I opened our home for five days over the first two weekends in May. We had a great time! Whilst the volume of sales was not huge, we both did sell work and, what was just as important, received some fantastic comments from people who came round. We had 194 visitors – some came to see Alan’s monochrome photographs including those of Chichester Harbour and church interiors; some came to see my found object and mixed media work and most enjoyed both. Although our work is very different it does complement each other. There is a similar colour palette i.e. simple, earthy tones – I describe his work as precise and perfect whilst mine is distressed, tattered and torn and yet the two seem to work together.
What did we learn from the experience:
The entrance display of my found lighters was a great talking point and so the idea of having something with impact that is not actually for sale is a good way of breaking the ice
Ensuring that the body of work to be shown is prepared in plenty of time so that publicity photographs are truly representational of the work is important
Our decision to invest in quality bespoke frames was well worthwhile
Some people come just to see what you do and “borrow” ideas
We chose not to offer cards or lower priced pieces of work this time but this may be something to consider in the future
Although tiring, we enjoyed meeting lots of new and interesting people
From the point of view of new artists, the Art Trail is a low cost way of testing the market for your work
And now …
Alan plans to continue to work towards a panel of work for his Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society
Helen will maintain her love of found objects but look for new ways to work with them, maybe mixing the found with the made; maybe replicating the distressed surfaces on paper and in fabric; maybe considering more work with books as these proved very popular during the trail.
As you know, my husband is the photographer in the house (Alan Frost ARPS – www.alanfrostphotography.com) but that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy taking snaps and I do! My love is the great outdoors and nature and, of course, these subjects lend themselves to colour. However, it is interesting to note that, for me, black and white works better sometimes – colour can be a distraction making an image too busy. See what you think:
Again, I am no expect in what I call “fiddling” and have only basic Photoshop skills but can create some interesting effects even so:
I enjoyed doing this for a change from my work on paper and in fabric and we are surrounded by wonderful scenery here in Piddlehinton, Dorset where we are staying for a few days. A week or so from now I will be at Studio Eastbourne where I will be doing a course “Surface Treatments for Sculptural Forms” and really looking forward to that. I will be at Studio 11 run by Christine Chester and look forward to spending time with Debbie Lyddon once again. Let’s hope I do better with the sewing machine this time Debbie!
After much hard work and preparation we are nearly ready for the Chichester Art Trail which starts tomorrow and runs over the this weekend and next and this Bank Holiday Monday. My husband Alan (Alan Frost Photography) and I are exhibiting from our studio at Venue 79 in Fishbourne.
Entry will be via the garden (another work in progress!) and the first thing you will see is this:
During my Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, I produced a series of Cyanotype prints.
The cyanotype process was invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel and is one of the historically oldest photographic techniques. A solution of Potassium ferricyanide and Ferric ammonium citrate (green) are mixed with water separately and then blended together in equal parts. Next (and this is the trickier part), the solution is painted onto paper or fabric to form an even coating. Objects or negatives are placed on the material and the cyanotype is printed using UV light, such as the sun. I worked using daylight and herein lies the next tricky bit. Each print will be different depending on the amount and intensity of the sunlight during the exposure time and the exposure time will vary according to the quality of light so it is an affair of trial and error.
The early cyanotype prints were of seaweed and most usual subject are leaves. I wanted to experiment a little with the process by combining natural objects with man made items and by including other media on the paper before printing. I was pleased with my results but was not sure how to present them.
A few months ago I came across a Victorian photograph album in a charity shop. It was badly worn and some of the inside pages were torn but I felt it had a certain charm. On further consideration, I decided it would work very well with my cyanotypes – the old technique sat well with the old album and the strong blues contrasted with the faded pages.
I also added a few of the papers which I embossed using lino and a printing press.
Last year we had our first ever three week holiday spending two weeks on the marvellous Isle of Mull (one in the North and one in the South of the island) and the final week in the highlands near Sheildaig and Lochcarron in Wester Ross. It was my first visit that far North and I defy anyone not to be impressed by the sheet majesty of the mountains and beauty of the lochs.
Here are some of the photographs that I took and my interpretation of the views in the form of collage. The bottom two images form part of what will be shown in our home as part of the Chichester Art Trail.
Next year we hope to return to beautiful Scotland and venture even further North.