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Fran Norton Residency

 

During the Easter Holiday artist Fran Norton was invited to have a residency in the Centre for Drawing at the Wimbledon College of Art, London. Fran’s work has a central focus on the home and is currently researching what ‘home’ means for herself and the family, friends, and colleagues who share the home with her.

The show titled ‘ The Home I Carry With Me’ consisted of a large scale body of work, using collected text messages from family, friends and other forms of notifications to inhabit the walls with. I was particularly drawn to the large body of text on the back wall of the studio, the text filled the entire wall, top to bottom and roughly spanned five years worth of conversations. This sense of time collated in this way made the work very bodily. The archival nature of the work was also an interest to me. The use of magnifying glasses added to the sense of being in a catacombic archive centre for one persons life, almost like a library. I felt that the use of sliding ladders would have added to this notion of an archival space in which we were inhabiting. Perhaps even being asked to find certain people/ conversations- to be encouraged to start building our own connections with this person and the life we had become a part of.

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There was also a sound piece to go with the work of a barking dog. Perhaps alerting the text that intruders were present and we were somehow a threat to the space. It gave the work a level of tension, were in someone’s home? ¬†can we be prying on someone’s life in this way?

There was a another piece I was drawn to in which the text messages from Fran’s two sons were framed and placed one above the other. Although I did not know Fran’s children I felt a strong connection to the relationship between the family. ¬†Somehow they had become portraits, revealing so much more than what the eye can perceive.

 

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