My work is based on the forms of fruiting bodies, flowers and particularly seedpods. I collect and photograph them, then enlarge them and work from these photos or drawings. Plants and seedpods scaled up so that we can really see them are spectacular. They contain all life. Their forms are made up of pure mathematics, nothing about them is random. The role of the seedpod is to be protective and to this end many of them are hard, spiky, enclosed or hairy. They wait for the time when nature dictates that they should release their seed, often in ingenious ways. These forms are often reminiscent of other forms in nature, such as those under the sea. Plants grow to the scale necessary to attract insects for pollination….I like to play with this scale to give both an ‘insects eye view’ and to bring up to human scale the amazing intricacies of the plants around us.
We tend to respond to the flowering part of a plant, yet for me the most exciting part is when the flower has died and the seedpod is forming, encasing its precious cargo ready to start the cycle all over again. Life always goes on.
My larger work is often placed in an exterior environment, where in summer it is partly hidden by the plants which have originally inspired it, and in winter it is revealed to provide colour and texture during the cold months.
Stratton Art Gallery, Hastings
Artichoke Gallery, Burwash
Midas Gallery, Lincoln
Oriel Ceri Gallery, Swansea
For Arts Sake, Bond Street, London
Liberty Gallery, West Malling
The Arc, Chester
The Old Studio, Ventnor, I.O.W
Look at Frances Doherty's Blog
If you have a school project coming up, especially if it is related to plants and natural forms, I can offer workshops to get you going.
This can either be in the form of a teachers workshop, to give you lots of useful technical info, good products to use, how to repair, etc etc, or a childrens workshop to start them off and show them lots of different ways to form and decorate the clay.
A combination of the two workshops usually works well especially if the budgets are tight as the teacher can continue with the project with the relevant information to hand.
I have a PGCE and plenty of teaching experience.
Contact me through this website for further details.
Once or twice a year I can offer a work experience opportunity. This would usually run for 2-4 weeks, and would be at my studio in Normandy. You would help me with general studio work, glaze making, modelling etc, and I would be able to give you some throwing classes etc. I would also provide food and accomodation.
If this is something you would be interested in, please contact me through this website.
I work with white stoneware, and most of my forms are first thrown and then modelled.
The glazes are painted and poured, then high fired to +1260. This makes them suitable for outdoor use. My glazes are chosen to compliment the form and are often slightly crystalline or iridescent, this makes the pieces glow.
The forms are often combined with metal and reclaimed sea defence timber.
- From 1986 to 1996 I owned a restaurant in Brighton and sold it when I became hooked on ceramics at an evening class, so that I could study the subject further.
- I spent five years at college, studying photography and plastics as well as ceramics. When I graduated in 2001, I took out a lease on workshop premises in Hove, and sublet spaces to other artists/craftspeople.
- Since then I have exhibited and sold my work at trade fairs and galleries throughout the British Isles.
- In 2004 I won an award for Best Newcomer at BCTF, and have written features for their magazine “The Craftsman’.
- I took a post grad in teaching and learning in HE, and have worked part-time as a tutor at Northbrook College, Brighton University and HMP Ford.
- I now concentrate on sculpture and my work is sold largely through an agent at art fairs or through sculpture trails which I tend to organise annually.
2005-06 PG Cert in HE, Brighton University
1998-2001 BA Hons. 3D Design, Brighton University
1996-97 HND 3D Design, Northbrook College
1996-97 City and Guild Ceramics, Northbrook College
2013 ‘Flora + Fauna sculpture trail, Ventnor Botanic Gardens IOW
2012 Sculpture trail, Pride of the Valley, Surrey
2011 Sculpture trail, Prairie Gardens, Henfield
2010 Sculpture trail, Russells & Avondale Gardens, Warickshire
2010 Horsham museum, Sculpture bought for permanent collection
2010 Sculpture trail, Chateau de Bosmelet, Normandy
2009 Funding award for sculpture trail, Finnis Scott`Foundation
2009 ‘Life Cycle’ Sculpture trail, Ventnor Botanic Gardens IOW
2008 Goodman + Morris, Brighton Festival
2008-13 Affordable Art Fair, Battersea and Hampstead
2008 Feature on artist, Design Arts magazine and Kent Chronical
1996-2013 Fiveways Open House, Brighton Festival
2005-2012 Brighton Art Fair, Corn Exchange Brighton
2004 Profile of artist, The Craftsman magazine
2004 Award for excellence, best newcomer, BCTF
2003 Funky Botanica, Wakehurst Place
2002 Profile of artist, Evening Argus