FRANCES HATCH ARWS
I grew up in the Fens near Ely at the edge of The Wash. Its black earth called me into relationship with bright air and dark underbelly. This connection manifested plein air paintings from childhood. I moved away from East Anglia to study in Wales, France and London- travelling widely to work with environments such as Antarctica, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Guernsey and Scotland.
Meeting up with unfamiliar landscapes has been a lifelong joy.
A journey to Antarctica in 2005 prompted questions around an assumed right to roam the world with impunity. I had been actively encouraged to leave the Fens and travel as a young person growing up in the 70s.
And yet I witnessed Antarctica bruised by any boots that walk over her, no matter how well-meaning the boot. Sublime majesty and excruciating vulnerability were clearly manifest in that great desert continent.
The joy of encounter remains present and central to my practice. That joy often dwells inside the invitation to intimacy with the local.
The timid fen child knew reciprocity in the way that children know these things. I remain child in my making. Site-responsive work emerges out of relatedness and reciprocity. The works literally become containers of shared experience.
The Jurassic Coast, within easy reach of my Portland studio, offers earth palettes with generous tonal and colour ranges. I work with what each place gifts of its unique palette and mood (weather, season, temperature). Commercially manufactured paint (gouache, acrylic or watercolour) is introduced and integrated with the ‘stuff’ of place. Water, present as humidity, precipitation and frequently as a body, is also the vehicle that facilitates integration.
Elected as Associate of The Royal Watercolour Society in 2022, I’m part of a community that forges images with water as vehicle.
PORTLAND STUDIO visits by appointment
C.C.A.T. (Cambridge) Foundation Course 1973-74
Aberystwyth University College of Wales – Hons degree in French and Visual Art 1974-78
Auditrice Libre, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Nantes 1976
Goldsmiths’ College, A.T.C. 1978-79
Wimbledon College of Art: Postgraduate- MA Printmaking 1986-89
SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS:
THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF PAINTERS IN WATERCOLOURS. The Mall Galleries, 2016 – 2022
ROYAL SOCIETY OF BRITISH ARTISTS OPEN. The Mall Galleries, London 2022
ROYAL WATERCOLOUR SOCIETY, Bankside, London. 2020- on-going
ROYAL ACADEMY SUMMER EXHIBITION. 2016 + 2019
RWA: 159th & 161st ANNUAL OPEN EXHIBITION, Bristol. 2011 + 2013 + 2015
KEVIS HOUSE GALLERY, Petworth. Solo and group shows 2014 on-going
THE RUSSELL GALLERY, London. 2020- on-going
SLADERS YARD, West Bay, Dorset. 2015- on-going
THE COMMON GROUND. Crafts Study Centre, U.C.A. Farnham. 2020
BERMONDSEY PROJECT SPACE, LONDON. 2019+ 2021
DRAWING ON DORSET. Fine Foundation Gallery, Durlston near Swanage, Lighthouse in Poole, Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester. 2019
IGNITING SIGHT: Contemporary Artists inspired by Turner. SLADERS YARD, West Bay, Dorset. July-Sept 2019
THELMA HULBERT GALLERY, Honiton, solo show 2017
THE ATKINSON GALLERY, Milfield Open 2021
LYNN PAINTER-STAINERS PRIZE. Mall Galleries, The Mall, London. 2014 + 2016
THE ING DISCERNING EYE EXHIBITION, The Mall Galleries. 2013 + 2015 + 2016
THE GATEHOUSE GALLERY, St Peter Port, Guernsey. solo show 2016
AGORA GALLERY 530 W 25th Street New York, NY. Discovery: Contemporary Art Perspectives from England. 2018
WORKS ON PAPER FAIR, LONDON. 2015 + 2016 +2017
Visiting Artist. Gate House Gallery, Guernsey. March 2016
The Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Prize at The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) exhibition: 2016
The Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton OPEN 2016- (winner)
Bursary awarded by the Department for International Trade South West. 2018
ARTmine, Agora Gallery, Chelsea, New York. USA. 2019.
PAVILLION DANCE, Bournemouth 2011 + 2012
DURLSTON COUNTRY PARK NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE. Swanage 2014
SOIL CULTURE RESIDENCY at The Eden Project: shortlist. August 2014
BRANTWOOD RESIDENCY, Coniston Water, Cumbria. Sept/October 2019
Drawn to Antarctica: an artist’s view. 2005 Viriditas Press. ISBN: 978-0-9562647-0-1
EARTH- 2014 (with Sladers Yard) 2015
Chesil Moons: 2017 Viriditas Press. ISBN 978-0-9562647-1-8
With Red Earth Under My Nails: 2017 Viriditas Press. ISBN 978-0-9562647-2-5
The Common Ground. 2020. The Crafts Study Centre. ISBN 978-1-9162971-0-4
CONTRIBUTIONS TO PUBLICATIONS:
Missal Birds: origami microbook printed by Steve Hitchens poems by Elisabeth Bletsoe.
Towards Re-Enchantment: Place and Its Meanings. Artevents, 2010. (at the invitation of Elisabeth Bletsoe, poet)
Artist and Illustrators Magazine, Featured Contributor. January 2014 issue.
40 Artist Educator Project. Commissioned by Access Art 2014
Drawing and Painting: Materials and Techniques for Contemporary Artists. Thames and Hudson, 2015
The Jackdaw Magazine. Easel Notes. May/June Issue. 2016
Drawing on Dorset. Dorset Visual Arts. 2019. ISBN 978-1-5262-0790-6