Approved: 09.04.2008

Fern Thomas

Artist, Writer, Lecturer / academic, Researcher

Archived
Approved: 09.04.2008

Fascinated by slowness, silence, mountain, river, bell and stone; Fern Thomas seeks to explore her relationship with the ecological, archetypal and mythological world around her. Manifesting in action, live or documented, her process-led and intuitive explorations often take the form of a physical interaction or 'meeting' between herself and a place, a dream, a history or another being.

Focusing

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  • Location: Swansea, Wales
  • Activities: Lecturing, Practice-based research, Residencies, Participatory projects, Events management
  • Categories: Live Art, Participatory, Research, Sound, Text
 

Biography

Fascinated by slowness, silence, mountain, river, bell and stone; Fern Thomas seeks to explore her relationship with the ecological, archetypal and mythological world around her. Manifesting in action, live or documented, her process-led and intuitive explorations often take the form of a physical interaction or 'meeting' between herself and a place, a dream, a history or another being. Focusing on simple transformative gestures or responsive actions, Thomas allows for a slow and careful dialogue to reveal what is hidden, buried or lost. April 2011 ............................................................................................................................................. 'Fern Thomas is acutely aware of the delicate yet critical relationship between humans and their environment. In an attempt to connect directly with the 'natural world' she volunteers representations of the 'animal world' to act as mediators for this purpose [...]' Tim Davies, Curator of Ground, 2009 ............................................................................................................................................ 'Fern Thomas's Creation Stories, a series of unflinching physical gestures made direct to camera, echoed early performance work such as that of Bruce Nauman or Robert Morris, and yet powerfully portrayed the inseparable union between violence and creativity in basic actions of body. The slowed down footage of clapping hands, dropping a rock or throwing mud at the wall, all pretty innocuous acts in themselves, provoked horror and rapt fascination as slowing down the footage made each act sound like an explosion. The final metaphorical gesture of blowing flour from cupped hands at the camera was particularly successful, as the thundering sound was accompanied by a visual explosion ominously reminiscent of the white-out of a nuclear blast.' Colin Glen First published: a-n Magazine August 2007 'In slowing down a series of performative gestures which can be seen as metaphors for violent acts, as though 'sculpting' with time, Thomas explores the relationship between violence and creation, producing a slow motion video; a kind of temporal magnifying glass, in which we are aware of the artist becoming object within her own work.' Zoë Shearman, May 2007

CV & Education

Qualifications and training 2012 - Social Sculpture, part of MA Interdisciplinary Arts, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford 2008 - MA Contemporary Dialogues - Fine Art, Swansea Metropolitan University, Swansea 2005 - BA Fine Art, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Public realm 2010 - For the Bees, in partnership with International Year of Biodiversity 2010, Swansea Group exhibitions 2012 - Audiograft, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford 2012 - Oriel Davies Open 2012, Oriel Davies, Newtown, Wales 2012 - The Curator's Egg Altera Pars , Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London 2011 - Artemesia, St.Davids Hall, Cardiff 2011 - Mostyn Open: Selceted by Richard Wentworth, Karen MacKinnon and Anders Pleass, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno 2011 - Two Sides Of The Same Coin -TRFF/g39, The Russian Frost Farmers, New Zealand 2009 - Ground: Curated by Tim Davies, Oriel Wrexham, Wrexham 2008 - A Collection of Drawings, Mission Gallery, Swansea 2008 - Excavations: artists responses to the gas pipeline (Framework), Oriel Lliw, Pontardawe Arts Centre, Swansea 2008 - I D E N T I D A D E S 0 4, Museo del Estado, Michoacan , Mexico 2008 - Mission Open 08, Mission Gallery, Swansea 2008 - Obsessions, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford 2008 - Reasoned Uncertainties: Innovations in Art, Science & Technology, Dynevor Centre for Art, Design & Media, Swansea Metroploitan University, Swansea 2007 - Expo: Plymouth in association with Sonic Arts Network London and i-Dat, Plymouth 2007 - War and Peace 07, Bath Film Festival, Watershed, Stroud Valley Arts Festival, Big Green Gathering, Bath, Bristol, Stroud, Somerset 2006 - Experimentica 06, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 2005 - Artists Rolls, Mission Gallery & Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea 2005 - Expedition no.3 , Art I.G Showroom, Hannover 2005 - OXDOX: Oxford International Documentary Film Festival, Oxford Degree shows 2008 - MA Contemporary Dialogues Degree Show, Swansea Metropolitan University 2005 - 32 Degrees, Oxford Brookes University Curated projects 2008 - Framework Social: a space for artists to meet and socialise (part of collaborative group Framework), St.James Social Club, Swansea 2007 - Framework Monthly - a space for artists to discuss their work (as part of Framework), Various spaces around Swansea, Swansea Live/Performance 2007 - Bring Music Bake Bread, Framework Launch Event, Mission Gallery, Swansea 2005 - Alternative Light (as part of collaborative group F.A.O), Mission Gallery, Swansea Artist talks 2008 - The Importance of Drawing, Mission Gallery, Swansea Residencies 2009 - Artist in Residence, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth 2009 - Writer in Residence with Owen Griffiths, The Rant, Axis, Axis 2008 - Cafe Artistique (as part of collaborative group Framework), St.James Social Club, Swansea 2005 - Expedition no.3 , Art I.G Showroom, Hannover Public commissions 2005 - Artists Rolls, Mission Gallery & Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea Projects 2010 - 'Let's See What Happens' Dialogue between artists from Swansea, Wales & Xiamen and Shanghai, China (ongoing), Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea 2010 - Supersaurus: artist collective , Supersaurus Studio, Swansea 2009 - Zen Garden: a participatory installation by FAO, National Theatre Wales, Cardiff 2008 - I D E N T I D A D E S 0 4, Museo del Estado / Identidades, Michoacan , Mexico Competitions, prizes and awards 2011 - AHRC Award, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford 2011 - Mostyn Open 2011 Winner: selected by Richard Wentworth, Karen MacKinnon & Anders Pleass, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno 2010 - Shortlisted for BBC Radio 4's Amateur Scientist of the Year for 'For the Bees' with Owen Griffiths, BBC Radio 4, 92–95 MHz FM 2009 - Welsh Artist of the Year (Photography) & Runner Up Welsh Artist of the Year, St.Davids Hall, Cardiff Site specific 2010 - Bell in the Ballroom, Bell in the Cell, OVADA, Oxford Town Hall - Prison Cells Publications 2011 - For the Bees, Art & Science, Arts Professional Other 2009 - Guest Lecturer for Fine Art BA Course, Swansea Metropolitan University, Swansea 2009 - Selector for MAstars, 2009, Axis, . 2008 - Guest Lecturer for Foundation Course, Swansea Metropolitan University, Swansea 2007 - Review for 'Creation Stories' in 'an magazine', August 2007, as part of 'War and Peace 07', Watershed Bristol Screening, an magazine