Last chance to see ‘Holdfast’ at Joseph Wales studio in Margate

Holdfast by Louise Frances Smith

Today (June 21) is the last chance to see an exhibition by Margate artist Louise Frances Smith at the Joseph Wales studio in the town’s Dane Hill.

Holdfast is the culmination of a year-long Arts Council funded project.

Louise has experimented with using local materials in her practice, focusing on seaweed, chalk and clay. Inspired by the Thanet coastline where there is an abundance of seaweed in the summer and fallen chalk from the cliffs in winter, the resulting works create a physical and conceptual link back to the landscape.

Louise has delved deeper into her interest in using alternative materials alongside clay but also exploring the materials on their own.

The exhibition examines things that go unnoticed, like the tiny bryozoa that create intricate patterns on the fronds of seaweed, the shapes created in the cliff faces when fresh chalk is exposed to the elements, the strange remnants of chalk being gradually eroded by the sea and human traces we leave upon the landscape.

Louise gathered seaweed and chalk deposited on the shoreline from regular walks. Taking these raw materials back to the studio she combined techniques learnt from other artists alongside found recipes to create inks, slips, glazes, pressings, pigments, bioplastics, textured paper, drawings, collages and sculptural pieces.

Louise studied an art foundation at Rochester UCA and graduated from a Fine Art degree at Kingston University in 2009, going back to study ceramics in 2017 at City Lit, London. Since graduating from the Ceramics Diploma in 2019 Louise works part time on her practice and teaches at The Clayspace, Margate.

Holdfast is open at the studio until 6pm today (June 21).

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