Photo: Naomi Frears by Steve Tanner
What are your current obsessions?
The music of Steve Reich, photographs of Wolfgang Tillmans, a poem by Nuar Alsadir, a talk by Liliane Lijn, the film Paradise: Love.
What is your first art memory?
Making a small, sticky painting – I must have been 5.
What is your relationship with Cornwall and how does it impact on your practice?
Cornwall is where I want to be almost all of the time. I love to visit cities, but in Cornwall I can think clearly and work, and it’s where a lot of the people that I love are.
Tell me about the last exhibition that stayed with you.
Nicholas Deshayes’ work in Lower Gallery 2 at Tate St. Ives is great and I want one of the tables.
Naomi Frears is a tutor on the Figure Painting Intensive at the Falmouth School of Art, 6-10 July 2015.
Born in Leicestershire in 1963 Naomi Frears studied at Loughborough then Sunderland making bad sculpture and winning the printmaking prize. After riding her motorcycle across the world, she moved to St Ives in the late 80s to pursue her career as an artist focussing on drawing, printmaking and painting.
One of Cornwall’s leading artists, Frears was selected for Art Now Cornwall at Tate St Ives and recently had a solo exhibition of films, paintings and works on paper at Newlyn Art gallery.
Frears has exhibited widely in galleries and museums and is represented by Beaux Arts Bath and Rabley Contemporary. Her work in education includes giving public talks and leading workshops at Newlyn, The Exchange and Falmouth University as well as being part of the learning team at Tate St Ives.
Ideas around desire and loss; intimacy and distance are dichotomies that are vital to Frears’ work, both in feeding the constant search for meaning that is evident, alongside an incredible confidence and joy. Her enigmatic yet lucid work results from an instinctive interplay of sculptural, drawing, print-making and painterly processes, often depicting figures lost in thought in an internal landscape, or other figurative elements embedded in abstract grounds. In working and constantly re-working to arrive at a final image, it seems for Frears, to be a process of removal as much as things emerging: she reduces her means to only the most acutely necessary. Technically accomplished, her images have the capacity to convey the poignancy of human intimacy, which has both personal and universal resonance. She has recently extended her practice to include making work with moving image.