Since first showing Fiona French’s paintings at Grapevine in Norwich in 2003, we have hosted four further exhibitions of her work, and they now feature in a number of significant collections across the country.
Every one of her works is different and distinct, but all reflect her love of colour and all display consumate technical skill. Internationally known for her prize-winning book illustration – variously inspired by the organic lines of Art Nouveau, stained glass and subsequently by mosaic – her earlier paintings seemed to be, at least in part, her response to the world of op-art and illusion, where for a time she had been one of a small team of assistants working in Bridget Riley’s studio.
The work in this latest exhibition records a transition in both style and content, starting with further development of her exploration of texture and colour typified by Weave and Mother-of-Pearl, through Lark Ascending and Daffodil to the inspiration of lights in the deep ocean of Primordial arriving at the realism of Stody Gardens and Sheringham Pines.
Fiona has never been one to explain her work, choosing not to constrain the free flight of our perception, but this new collection reveals a new direction in her thinking. The most recent paintings in this exhibition are far removed from those of the early 2000’s – still characterised by verve and dynamicism – but now exploring the interaction of light and the natural world.
Transition opens on Friday 1st September at 6pm and runs until the 30th but with a closure mid-month from 14th to 18th inclusive