What is an ‘Art Practice’? Why do we who identify as ‘artists’ feel the need to do it?

These are big questions, and they are only two among many others that can crop up regularly from that point in our lives when we decide to define ourselves as ‘artists’. It helps to talk about these things – reflecting on our artistry and practice with other makers, crafters, artists and art enthusiasts helps us to clarify and refine what exactly it is that we do.

Once a month we, the resident artists here at the OFS studios, punctuate our very individual and diverse art methodologies by joining up our separate spaces (usually with an eclectic mix chairs and makeshift tables in the corridor) for an informal get together and chat over a cuppa or something stronger. The result is often a hugely enlightening and enabling mixture of artistic influences, queries within our practices, investigation of ‘the artist’s life’ in general and everything that connects it all ‘the glue’ in-between. For this exhibition we hope to widen the dialogue and discourse to include the greater arts community.  We invite you – interested exhibition visitors, artists and arts facilitators alike to reflect with us and to get involved in the collective conversation.

Within this exhibition you can expect to hear and see enquiry into what supports, influences and challenges our diverse art practices alongside demonstration of our individual work and ‘just what it is that we do’. We hope to encourage open, inclusive and inspiring discussion around the trials, joys and transformations of ‘the artist’s practice’. There will be opportunities to hear the conversation as it has unfolded for us and to join in yourself by interacting with the exhibition and attending our special Q&A social event and Artweeks Open Studios.

Your question may be ‘Am I am artist?’ or ‘Is what I do an arts practice’  – Perhaps joining in this conversation might just encourage and enable you to find out.

Join us on Thursday 25 July, 6-8pm for the exhibition opening.

The Big Art Chat & Social
Monday 2 September, 7.30pm
Every month we, the AOFS studio artists, meet up to talk art, practice and everything in-between. Tonight we invite you to join the conversation. In this artist-led forum and audience Q&A, expect open, inclusive, and inspiring discussion around the trials and joys of ‘art practice’. Feel free to settle, document and draw as the conversation unfolds. Click here to book.

Studio artists:

Alexa Cox
Artist & Teacher
Works on paper exploring the nature of storytelling, the book and the construction of narratives through encounters. Watercolour, mixed media, book, ink, paper, print and drawing.

Patrick Farmer
Artist, Arts Facilitator & Tutor
Composition and realisation in various media. Organiser – Sound I’m Particular and Audiograft Festival. Member of the Sonic Art Research Unit.
Audio visual, print, publication and performance.

Rebecca Lee
Illustrator (children’s, editorial) & Immersive Designer.
Therapeutic and respite art interventions, meaningful participant engagement and visual storytelling initiatives for public spaces, theatre, music, publication and museum.
Watercolour, gouache, ink, audio visual, sculpture, installation, stage and costume design.

Zelga Simone Miller
Drawing in the form of decal, frieze and stop motion exploring narrative.
Charcoal, graphite, ink, pastel, acrylic and oil paint, collage and public art installation.

Lucy Proctor
Artist & Arts Educator
Investigating ideas around isolation, displacement and the resilience of both our physical and psychological landscapes. Trained Art Therapist. Mixed media, oil paint and sculpture.

Lucy Stopford
Artist & Arts Organiser
Working from life in oil paint, charcoal and clay to capture the process of observation by leaving the traces of enquiry in the material in the form of gestural marks.