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For the latest edition of Create Not Destroy, we bring you: Fran x Afends. Inspired by her surroundings, Fran's artwork combines flaming butterflies and urbanised patterns with a strong focus on colour and composition. We recently caught up with Fran to chat about the collab, life in Sydney and what she has in store for '22.
My main medium is normally painting, and so when it came to FRAN X AFENDS I decided to focus in on drawing out the repeated patterns and symbols that normally characterise my work and giving them some more detail. They often hold a natural element like flames or flowers or little critters but I think since moving to Sydney’s inner west they have taken on a more graphic and urbanised feel. It was a really fun process for me to take these symbols out of their painting context and instead work with them on their own to see where that took them creatively.
My inspiration is very heavily focused on colour and composition. In my day to day life, I am constantly on the look for shapes that intrigue me and once I’ve got that I begin to think about colour combinations that would interact with each other in a unique way. Once I have this in my head, I compose the composition completely before I sit down to paint, I always have a pretty consolidated image in my head of what the painting will end up like. Colour is huge for me, I think its the most important thing and the combinations could make or break a painting.
Like I said before, I always pre plan my paintings with an image in my head so when I sit down to paint I have a pretty solid idea of where its going to go. I'm quite particular about liking to paint on my own in peace and quiet, and I don’t like to paint if I’m not in the right mood so I like to wait until I get the urge and then ride that wave as it comes.
I live in a big shared house in Newtown with my best friends and we love getting out of the city and finding new places to explore. We often go down the coast for the day to find an empty beach or go for a bush walk. A perfect day for me would start something like that, and would end with all of our friends coming over for a dinner party and sharing a meal and a beverage.
In a few days' time, I’m leaving to backpack down Central America for three months. I’m so excited to get out of my comfort zone with the adventures were doing over there like sailing from Panama to Colombia. I’m also really interested to see what effect this trip and immersing myself in such diverse cultures will have on my artistic practice once I’m home.
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