Approved: 23.02.2016

Fiona Stanbury

Artist, Gallerist, Journalist, Teacher, Writer

Approved: 23.02.2016

I used to work primarily from landscape and the figure but I found that paint was calling for deeper exploration, and specific references were no longer relevant to the kind of images that were starting to emerge. I discovered that working into wet gesso allowed for different kinds of mark making and layerings that gave an entirely new direction to my work. I start with acrylic on wet gesso - using different kinds of brushes and painting knives - and then layer further with oil paint. I like the first layers to be part of the ground rather than lying on top of it. The initial image suggests further development, and it is important that the paint has to have its own form and autonomy. Colours and brushstrokes are entities and this interests me.

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  • Location: tunbridge wells, South East
 
 
 

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        Biography

        I used to work primarily from landscape and the figure but I found that paint was calling for deeper exploration, and specific references were no longer relevant to the kind of images that were starting to emerge. I discovered that working into wet gesso allowed for different kinds of mark making and layerings that gave an entirely new direction to my work. I start with acrylic on wet gesso - using different kinds of brushes and painting knives - and then layer further with oil paint. I like the first layers to be part of the ground rather than lying on top of it. The initial image suggests further development, and it is important that the paint has to have its own form and autonomy. Colours and brushstrokes are entities and this interests me.

        The evolving language has developed from several years of sifting through paint-forms and questions about content, composition, and technique. I like my paint-process to be part of the final image, and the direct calligraphic brushmarks to be compositional elements. I am exploring further mark-making and content, thicker layers of gesso and acrylic. Scraping and scoring into the paint has recently entered the painting. I mix very particular colours as I question ideas of 'structure.'

        Artists whose work have been a source of inspiration are: Fiona Rae, Andrew Crane, Cy Twombly, Mali Morris, Melissa Meyer, Mark Dutcher, Ivon Hitchens, Howard Hodgkins, Albert Irvin - and many others - for the directness of their mark-making, colour and interest in the material qualities of paint. I am also very interested in contemporary Chinese artists.

        My project for the Fellowship at Mutianyu, by the Great Wall of China involved layering different aspects of the area - historical, botanical, ecological and visual - using rice paper, inks, raw canvas, pens and acrylic. My particular inspiration was a long, difficult walk up the mountain to the Great Wall, thinking about the history of the Wall and the many footsteps that had taken the same route over the centuries. This thought inspired my large painting (on unprimed, unstretched canvas), 'Mosaic Mountain,' in which the painted mountain had 'footsteps' of colour and shapes across it, created by different materials. My painting was as much of a journey as my physical walk. My original interest in Chinese calligraphy deepened further during this experience and I explored this in my studio with ink on rice paper, which fed back into the large paintings.. The residency had a huge impact on my direction.

        CV & Education

        Residencies

        • I was awarded a Mark Rothko painting residency at the birthplace of Mark Rothko, Daugavpils (Latvia) as one of 15 artists selected globally, in September 2012.
        • I had to create two paintings for an exhibition, and give a presentation of my work to an audience at the Daugavpils Regional Art Centre.
        • I made four paintings, which were part of the Mark Rothko Plein Air exhibition. It opened on Rothko’s birthday anniversary, 25th September.
        • My four paintings are included in the Mark Rothko collection, at the Mark Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia.

        Fellowships

        I was invited to do a one month Fellowship - 'The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu, Great Wall,' (China,) -  for the month of August. My accommodation and expenses were funded by my hosts, a studio provided and the opportunities for exhibiting, giving talks and networking.

        Publications/Catalogues

        • Painting chosen to be featured in the printed March 2017 edition of AVERAGE ARTS magazine.
        • THE JOY OF LIFE, (colour catalogue, hardback) for the 'Joy of Life' exhibition held at Port Commune Art Space, Kuala Lumpur, Feb 2017
        • The Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair, catalogue, 2016
        • Catalogue of the 6th Beijing International Art Biennale, 2015, (600 pages, colour)
        • Article for THE JACKDAW, about the 6th Beijing Biennale, (November-December issue, page 26)
        • Essay included on the online art magazine,, 'The WIP Project (Neoteric art)' on the theme of 'What is Painting?' (2nd January 2015)
        • Author of ‘The Jagged Green Line,’ (historical fiction, set in Cyprus)
        • Mark Rothko Plein Air Residency,  colour catalogue 2012
        • Article about the Mark Rothko residency for The Jackdaw, (page 30), November/December issue 2012, on the invitation of David Lee.
        • A Moving Exhibition, catalogue, 2010 (two colour pages)
        • The Cyprus Weekly, exhibition reviews, 1986 - 1997
        • Pancyprian Annual Exhibition colour catalogue: 1991, 1993, 1996
        • ‘Women Creators of the Two Seas,’ (Salonica) colour catalogue, 1997
        • ‘The Courier,’ exhibition reviews, 1993, 1995, 1996

        Interviews

        Studio Critical, online interview 2012. www.studiocritical.blogspot.co.uk
        Podcast interview: www.ahtcast.com (March 2014)

        Solo Exhibitions

        2016   Paintings inspired by the Great Wall, exhibited at the Great Wall Room, at the Brickyard Retreat, Mutianyu, China (as part of my Fellowship)
        2014   ‘Camden Quarter’ (restaurant) Tunbridge Wells, Kent
        2012   The Kings Hill Project, Kent (10 paintings)
        2009   Solo Show, The White Wall, Tunbridge Wells Library Gallery
        2001   South East Open Studios, Tunbridge Wells, Home Studio
        2000   South East Open Studios, Tunbridge Wells, Home Studio
        1996   ‘Women in The Baths,’ Trinity Gallery, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
        1995   ‘Landscapes and Townscapes,’ Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery, Kent
        1995   ‘Images around the Artist’s House,’ Nicosia, Cyprus
        1993   ‘A Journey Through Colour,’ Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery
        1991   ‘Nicosia, Passages of Colour,’ The Fournos Gallery, Nicosia Cyprus

        Group Exhibitions

        2017  'The Joy of Life,' at Port Commune Art Space, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

        2016  Creatives@TunbridgeWells, at Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre, Tunbridge Wells

        2016  The Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair, Tunbridge Wells

        2016  South East Open Studios, 9Studio in Ely Court, Royal Victoria Place, Tun Wells

        2016  'Not The Royal Academy,' the Llewellyn Alexander gallery, London

        2015  The 6th Beijing International Art Biennale, The National Art Museum of China (exhibition of work from 96 countries, I was one of five artists representing the UK)..

        2015   The Big Heart Auction, the Dome, Brighton

        2015   'Brunch,' at Apothiki Studio, Paphos, Cyprus

        2014   10 paintings at DMH Stallard, Crawley, Sussex, (in co-operation with Frickleton Fine Art)

        2014  'SEE Art Fair, (July 9th-July 13th) Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall

        2014   'Not The Royal Academy,' Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London

        2014   10 Artists show paintings on the theme of SALE, at Hoopers Department store, Tunbridge Wells

        2014  'White Hours,' Apothiki Studio, Paphos, Cyprus
        2014   ‘Flight,’ The Gallery, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
        2014   ‘People,’ Art Pull gallery, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
        2013    SEE Artists exhibition, Art Pull gallery, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
        2013    ‘Gold,’ (exhibition of contemporary paintings) Vitebsk, Belarus
        2013    Residents’ exhibition, Mark Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia
        2013    ‘Not The Royal Academy,’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        2012    Mark Rothko Plein Air, Daugavpils Regional Art Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia
        2012   ‘Not the Royal Academy,’ London
        2011   ‘Not the Royal Academy,’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery
        2010   ‘Not the Royal Academy,’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        2009   West-Eleven Gallery, Covent Garden, London
        2009   ‘An Age of Miracles,’ The Brick Lane Gallery, London.
        2008   Box of Delights, Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery, Kent
        2008   ‘Not the Royal Academy,’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        2007   Canterbury Art Festival, University College for the Creative Arts, Canterbury, Kent
        2006   Southern Contemporaries, Rhapsody House Gallery, Tunbridge Wells
        2006   ‘Not the Royal Academy’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        2006   ‘First Class Post ‘Exhibition, Folkestone Library Gallery, Folkestone, Kent.
        2006   ‘About Face,’ Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery
        2005    ‘Not the Royal Academy,’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        2005   ‘Picture This 2,’ Sassoon Gallery, Folkestone Library, Folkestone
        2004   Atlantic Art Gallery, Port Isaac, Cornwall
        2003   ‘Not the Royal Academy,’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        2002   ‘Not the Royal Academy,’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        2002   Arts and Crafts Show, Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery
        2001   Christmas Exhibition, The Weald Gallery, Cranbrook, Kent
        2001   ‘Not the Royal Academy,’  Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        2000   ‘Not the Royal Academy,’ Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
        1997   South East Open Studios, Adult Education Centre, Tunbridge Wells
        1997   ‘Women Creators of the Two Seas,’ (27 Women Artists), Thessaloniki, Greece
        1997   Summer Show, Walton Contemporary Art Gallery, London
        1996   ‘Pancyprian Annual Exhibition,’ Famagusta Gate, Nicosia, Cyprus
        1993   ‘Pancyprian Annual Exhibition,’ Famagusta Gate, Nicosia, Cyprus
        1993   ‘Colour Notes,’ Socrate’s Restaurant-Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus

        Work in Collections:
        Uri Geller
        The new Mark Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia
        Mr Tim Scott (Sculptor, Art Critic)
        The Nicosia Municipality, Nicosia, Cyprus
        Private collections in the USA, France, Sweden, Denmark, Cyprus, Greece

        I am currently running a gallery in Tunbridge Wells with a group of local artists. We set it up as a pop-up gallery but it has had much interest so we are continuing, and plan workshops and talks.

        I did a painting workshop at the Skinners Kent Academy in November 2014, on the theme of portraiture. I am available for teaching and commission. My largest commission was two 20 foot by 8 foot high wall paintings for the corridor of a tavern in Nicosia, Cyprus (images of this are on my website). I have also painted many portraits.

        Last year I was featured on the SKY LANDSCAPE ARTIST OF THE YEAR, chosen as a wild card artist and painting at Scotney Castle (programme aired on November 1st, on SKY ARTS, 2016).

        I have just exhibited in Kuala Lumpur at the Port Commune Art Space. I am part of an artist collective with the Awe-some Fenix gallery which is curating exhibitions across South Asia and China, and is based in Hong Kong.

        www.fionastanbury.com