Tag Archives: Fiona Long

Darling Buds exhibition

I really enjoyed taking part in the artist’s talk at the Darling Buds exhibition on Saturday. The show was put together by a group of curators: Rebecca Hallett, Davinia-Ann Robinson, Boudicca Collins, Nelly Curtis and Jessica Mautner, who haven’t worked together before and they all got on brilliantly. I think the show demonstrated how well they got on. There was a really harmonious feel to it.

The show was really well attended and I was pleased to hear about some of the reactions to my “Frustrated Play” piece. Apparently many children had gravitated towards the piece, and backed away at the last minute, perhaps because of the aesthetic of the piece or maybe because they were perplexed by it. two or three bent down and played with it and asked why it couldn’t be played with properly since the train wouldn’t go round. Others were told not to touch it by their parents. One of the parents asked what it was about and felt that it reminded her of being on the road and packing stuff up all the time. She found it melancholy and a little disturbing. Since two of my least favourite things are tidying and moving house….she could well be right!

Participating Artists:
Grace Adam
Daniel Bourke
Matt Gee
Sian Griffiths
Melissa Henderson
Sadie Hennessy
Fiona Long
Sonja Van Kerkhoff & Sen McGlinn

20 Artists, and an historical society, commandeer a lightship

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this amazing mini-residency on Light Vessel 21. Not only did I get to explore some intriguing nooks and crannies, but I also got to collaborate with some really interesting artists in response to the place. Steve McPherson, Sarah Britten-Jones, Katy Beinart and myself discovered that we have a mutual fascination with archaeology and the way in which we believe the labels in museums as absolute truth even though they are often just supposition.

This led us to create an amateur historical society. We gave three lectures in the control room about “The Secret History of LV21″ including extracts of diaries that had been found from the all female crew who crewed the ship for a period during WWII. This was further supported by the range of displayed artefacts, mentioned in the diaries. These included a paper model of LV21, a painting made on board of a face like element of the ship, and a replica signalling balaclava. Many were fascinated by the story, a journalist from a local paper was taking vigorous notes and we had people mention that we should investigate further and turn it into a tv documentary, a book or a film. As Steve stated, we would need to get someone to do the writing for us since none of us are very good at creative writing.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to figure ground for organising the event and to ship owners Paivi and Gary for hosting it all and letting us run riot! It was a great pleasure to meet all the other artists and I hope to see you all again soon and thanks also to everyone who came to see the art, watch the performances and hear our lecture.

Rochester People Article
Jaye Nolan’s Blog features the Light Vessel Historical Society

20 Artists commandeer a lightship

lightship exhibition

Originally uploaded by fionalongart.

This Wednesday, we open up LV21 and our exhibition of collaborative artworks, responding to the ship. The ship will be free to explore between midday and 5pm on the 20th April, so if you can make it to Gillingham Pier that day, I thoroughly recommend a visit. I’m pleased to be one of the twenty artists selected by figure ground

an artist’s network that aims to reconfigure the current context of art in public places.

lv21 map
Directions to Lightship event
From London it takes about 45mins on the high speed train from St Pancras Intl or Stratford Intl to Gillingham. You can also catch a slower train from Victoria or Charing Cross. It takes about 20mins to walk from the station to the Lightship.

Here is Gary Weston’s beautiful short film of the first day of our mini-residency on the lightship

20 Artists Commandeer Light Vessel 21 from Spaghetti Weston on Vimeo.

Anti-cuts demo

Yesterday, at the TUC Anti-Cuts, March For The Alternative demonstration I joined AIR (Artists Interaction Representation)- the voice of visual and applied artists which identifies and explores issues that impact on artists’ practice, and campaigns for artistic, legislative and economic measures that enhance artists’ working lives and their professional status. We were marching against cuts to the art sector and that “Art education is a right, not a privilege”. I feel pretty strongly about that since, having finished my Fine Art BA with flying colours, whilst having some success, finding work in the arts sector is seriously tough. I know that I’m competing against hundreds or thousands for every job, many of whom have MAs, which I simply cannot afford to do, and don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do, especially if I can’t get job and save up! Rather a catch22 situation!

I’ve never been on a march before but was pleased to join this one. I was proud to hold my banner. If I go on another similar march, and have time though, I’ll make my own. “Make Art Not War” perhaps? It’ll be a work of art of course, and made from very cheap materials…

Mini-residency aboard Lightship LV21

Last weekend, on the 19th March, I was lucky enough to go on the first day of a mini-residency on a lightship! 20 artists were invited by artists network Figure Ground to join them in responding collaboratively to the vessel. LV21 is a magnificent red ship, bright against the crisp blue sky, that is becoming a floating cultural facility. I’m very pleased to be collaborating with Katy Beinart, Steve McPherson, and Sarah Britten-Jones. When we introduced ourselves and our work to one another, we seemed to find several common threads of interest like archaeology, a curiosity for how objects could be interpreted, and the powers of museology. It was really great talking to them about these things and finding such common ground. We then explored the ship, from the top of the tower to the depths of the voids. I was in my absolute element getting to clamber about and explore in tight and intriguing spaces! Totally inspired by the ship and its history, we talked more about what we’re going to work on together for the show next month. There will be a lecture and there will be objects. That’s all I’m saying for now but it would be great if you can come and join us aboard, on the 20th April to come and experience the place for yourself, explore and see some fascinating art made by a jolly lovely group of artists. I’m so happy and grateful to be a part of it!

lightship exhibition

POST Artists

POST Artists

Originally uploaded by fionalongart.

I’m pleased to announce that I’m the new chair-person for POST artists.

Founded in 2008, POST is the new peer-led network for artists who respond to place. POST artists work in areas with which they have a personal involvement, staging site-specific shows that reflect the diverse practices of the members. Projects often engage with over-looked and disused spaces and investigate notions of public space. POST is interested in sites that both provoke differences and maintain stability. POST picks up on elements within a site and builds an artwork or event that spirals out from this.

Q Art Presents, Show Convenor


One of the interesting events at the Q Art Presents exhibition at the APT Gallery in Deptford was an end of show convenor. Exhibitors were given the chance to talk about their work and have a Q&A session. I always find this process so helpful as it highlights elements of the work which are and are not working.

I find it interesting how universal our fascination with bones is. I think it’s something primal in us that makes us more aware of our own mortality. Part repulsion, part intrigue; a freak show of objects. I’ve found similar effects with fur, skin, and wood. We are drawn to our caveman past like staring into the flames of a fire.

This piece is called ‘Bones’. An intentionally literal title. It is a new version of a piece I first conceived of during my residency at the Chinese Arts Centre. The first Chinese calligraphy was found carved into bones so I thought it would be interesting to dye bones entirely with Chinese ink and use each bone as a calligraphic stroke, with smaller bone fragments mirroring the way the ink stroke fragments on textured paper as the ink runs out.

I opted for the character for bones partly because it is so literally describing what its made from, and that amused me. I was also motivated by the fact that, to me, the character looks like a human figure, showing both our bones as the framework of us, and elements of characters, letters, ink strokes, as the framework of language and visual language. ‘ told that the top of the character means flesh, and the bottom part means bones, together meaning bones. It is customarily polite to ask for a bone if you actually want flesh.


Thanks to Jess Blandford for the bottom photo. You can see more of her photos from the whole show here.

A huge thank you to Sarah Rowles who founded Q-Art, a great organisation, and Erica Shiozaki who co-curated the show with Sarah. A lot of hard work and a great result. There were some wonderful relationships occurring between the works in the show, particularly the triangulating black fragments in the front space. Bliss!


Memento Diem

Originally uploaded by fionalongart.

I’m taking part in a contemporary art show that opens in Italy on Boxing Day! The artist’s network I belong to, POST, has been invited to take part in the show because of our joint interests in site based art work. For a mixture of artistic and practical reasons, we decided that members of POST should individually send postcards to the curator of the show in Italy to be assembled as a whole work representing our network once they have arrived. There will also be a slide-show of our summer show Away Day showing near our postcard display.

The show opens on Boxing Day in Cosenza in the South of Italy. The event is in the beautiful cloisters of Santa Chiara. As you can see from the flyer, it was supposed to open on the 18th December but had to be delayed due to extreme snowfall!


Q Art Presents 2010


Originally uploaded by fionalongart.

I’m pleased to be taking part in this year’s Q Art Presents exhibition at APT Gallery in Deptford. It’s a really amazing space.

The show comprises work from nearly 40 graduate and undergraduate artists from London’s top art schools.

The show runs from the 19th – 28th November
Private View Thursday 18th November 6-8pm
Deptford Last Fridays Opening 26th November 6-8pm

APT Gallery Deptford, Harold Wharf, 6 Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 4SA

There are some great events running alongside the show including:

Tuesday 23rd November. Self Assembly with Artquest
Saturday 27th November 1-5pm: Explore and Function, South London Tour with Jotta and Q Art
Sunday 28th November 1.30-5pm with artists from the show talking about their work. I’ll be talking about my work fairly early on in this time period.

I hope you can make it along to the show!

View Larger Map

Nearest rail stations Deptford and New Cross or DLR stops Deptford Bridge or Greenwich.