Tag Archives: Purveyors

Open Studio at the Chinese Arts Centre

I’m excited to announce my ‘Open Studio’ exhibition at the Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester which opens this Friday! It’s my first proper solo show!

The opening drinks reception is this Friday 24th September from 5-7.30pm. If you can make it then please do come along! The show runs until 29th September

At the same time, the lovely Sonia Kan will be showing her installation/performance ‘The mother and her untamed entity’ which is an exploration of the relationship between a mother and her daughter. So there will be plenty to see at the Chinese Arts Centre that evening!

Here’s their introduction to my work: Fiona Long is a recent graduate from Wimbledon College of Art and has been working with the two artists from our recent Infinite Strokes exhibition to explore hidden shapes and symbols in Chinese calligraphy.

Having graduated in both art and psychology, Fiona is fascinated by the way in which we cognitively interpret images. Using Chinese calligraphy symbols as the starting point for her research Fiona spent the residency investigating Chinese characters and taking part in calligraphy workshops. Her Open Studio work focuses on symbols which resemble one thing, but in translation mean something completely different. Fiona has tried to transform these traditional symbols in the hope that her interpretations alter the meanings of characters whilst also showing how images can transcend language.

In the Open Studio space, Fiona has followed this line of investigation with a number of painting and 3D works. Each piece focuses on this idea of manipulating characters; some taught to her in the calligraphy workshops, some from locally sourced text books and some found by chance encounters whilst walking around the city. On closer inspection, one particular piece in the studio, Pareidolia, depicts an all too familiar patterned gate within Chinese Arts Centre’s building.

It is clear to see from Fiona’s work that there is an intense preoccupation with the linking of symbols to images, and finding new meanings and messages within any given picture. Many of Fiona’s works depict her awareness of symbols resembling faces. She approaches each symbol as if it has its own characteristics, expressions and in a sense personality. For the audience, we can experience our own personal interpretation of what each symbol might resemble in our everyday lives, whether it is a cheeky smile or an animals snarl.

Manchester…the story so far…

I’m having a a great time in Manchester on my residency at the Chinese Arts Centre. I was met from the station by the centre’s lovely exhibition coordinator Elizabeth Wewiora who found and liked my work in the first place. She gave me a little tour of the city. On Saturday, I attended a lovely Chinese painting and calligraphy run by Mary Tang. It’s such a skill and artform. It must take years or decades to master. I had fun trying at least! I was then whisked off to see a brilliant show by the curator, Daniel Staincliffe, called Purveyors at Rogue Artists’ Studios, with works by Rob Dunne, Bryn Lloyd-Evans and Daniel Staincliffe. After that, I got a tour of Rogue Studios and got to see a lot of the work that’s going on there. There’s some great stuff! The studios are in an old textile mill and the atmosphere was fab! I’m now getting on with making some work, inspired by my experiences and research so far….