Frances Aviva Blane is a British painter of abstract and figurative work. She attended The Slade School of Fine Art, and has won awards including the Graham Hamilton Drawing Prize and a Jerwood Drawing Award. Well-known on the international art circuit, she has recently shown with Frank Auerbach and alongside Francis Bacon.
In 2019 she published FAB in association with Susie Orbach, and was due to take part in an event organised by the Freud Museum on Wednesday 20 May 2020, Smashed Up Paint, talking about her work with Orbach. Due to quarantine, this has been postponed, but you can see a clip of a film being made about Blane by filmmaker and artist Penny Woolcock in which Susie Orbach and Frances Aviva Blane discuss paint as a metaphor for disintegration of personality and self. Watch a clip at the end of the post, or a longer version here.
WIA: What are you doing today?
Frances Aviva Blane: Penny Woolcock is making a film about my work. Because of COVID we have not met but she’s filming at my studio and I’m waiting for her to phone and ask me questions.
WIA: Tell us about your creative process.
FAB: I visualise what I’d like to see and take it from there.
WIA: Describe where you do most of your creative work.
FAB: Not in the studio.
WIA: What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
FAB: The documentary Penny Woolcock is making about me. It’s challenging in many ways because of virus. Last week she was interviewing my collectors with my work in the street. I never know what she will suggest.
WIA: What made you decide to become an artist?
FAB: I like paint. Not sure if I’m an artist.
WIA: What are you currently working on?
FAB: Trying to stay focused is tough when there’s such suffering with COVID.
WIA: Do you listen to music while you work, and if so, what’s your soundtrack?
FAB: No. Never. just silence.
WIA: What are the key themes in your work?
FAB: Preoccupation with paint and it’s possibilities.
WIA: What would you like people to notice in your work?
FAB: I’m happy if people just look. There are so many images nowadays.
WIA: What attracts you to the mediums you work in?
FAB: The possibilities to innovate.
WIA: What equipment could you not do without?
FAB: Apart from paint I don’t know. I like to improvise. Restrictions are good.
WIA: Who or what inspires you?
FAB: I don’t get inspired. I work from nothing.
WIA: How does gender affect your work?
FAB: It doesn’t.
WIA: What’s your favourite gallery, or place to see or experience art?
FAB: Italy. The Pieros.
WIA: If you could own one piece of art, what would it be and why?
FAB: I don’t like owning art. I end up not noticing it.
WIA: If you could collaborate with one artist, from any time, who would it be, and why?
FAB: I know Paula Rego and she is always interesting to talk to, so I’d love to do something with her. She has an amazing body of work from many decades.
WIA: Is there an artist, movement or collective you’d like to see re-evaluated, or a contemporary artist who is underrated?
FAB: I like the German expressionists. Are they underrated?
WIA: What’s your favourite colour?
FAB: Pink is my favourite colour.
If you’d like to keep up to date with Frances, follow her here:-
Facebook. Frances Aviva Blane
Twitter. Frances Aviva Blane