We’re delighted to announce the recent appointment of Frances Gynn RWA as our 2020 environmental artist commission. The commission will include a number of works studying the subject of contemporary botanicals (a study which began during a fellowship at The Bogliasco Foundation,Italy) – both drawings and paintings which highlight the ecological catastrophe which the world faces.

Frances has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions including the Royal West of England Academy (RWA), Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize exhibition, Wells Art Contemporary, as well as exhibiting site-specific work in the landscape. One of these exhibitions was ‘Hallsands Revisited’, an exhibition and collaborative performance between Frances and musicians, Kozik and Richards. ‘Our responses to Hallsands’ in South Devon, its history and present landscape (www.hallsandsarts.co.uk). 

From an early age Frances has had a deep interest in the natural world and focuses on that within her work.

I remember looking in wonder at the complexity of hedgerows when one day I put my hand deep into the hedge to discover what this crimson, slightly fluffy unidentified object was. At this moment I was uncomfortable with the unknown environment of mud, prickles, stings and soggy surprises. I later came to realise that this was the true essence of nature…and began a deeper investigation into the subject.

My work for this commission has begun with some ‘sense of place’ sketching and monotypes made on location at Braunton Burrows. I find that working out in the landscape gives me a rich bank of material from which to respond, including flora and fauna and elemental effects. I am looking particularly at the wide variety of wild flowers and the threat that plastic pollution may have on them.

Ian Danby Director of the Burton says:

It is fantastic to have someone of Frances’ calibre working with us and her passion for working outdoors and addressing climate change was clear from her proposal. This is the second environmental commission call out and we look forward to this becoming part of our programme and our Permanent Collection.

torridge district council, arts council england and accredited museum