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Colour, Surface and Materiality

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In our gallery we talked about artist Matthew-Robert Hughes’ colour popping frames.  In these, both the frames and the inside spacers (known as fillets) were painted by us to enhance his fantastically coloured landscape photographs.

In this new body of work, which showed at his first solo exhibition “AONOCOPIA: Two Suns and a Broken Rock” at London’s Cob Gallery in April, Hughes explores the notion of mythology and narrative through a series of objects, photographs and sculptures.

Most strikingly, a pair of brightly box-framed, three-dimensional prints are printed on metallic Kodak paper and sliced, folded and re-sliced to form sharp, minimal forms that hint at tribal masks.

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Matthew-Robert Hughes – Masks

His landscape photographs are shot on film before being hand-printed.  The colours are selected in the darkroom to best compliment his metallic choice of paper. This specialist paper enables Hughes to hint at the magical by creating something quite literally alchemical on its surface.

At the heart of his photographs are the use of colour, surface and materiality, which we at Oaksmith Studio enhanced with our highly bespoke frames for this recent show.

With paint for the frames and the spacers carefully selected by Hughes, we constructed his vision of a frame as an integral component of the photograph. The artist always uses anti-reflective UV glass to allow the shimmery quality and viewing ability of his pieces to be shown off at their very best .

On the subject of glazing, in the recent Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) exhibition at London’s Tate Britain, it was inspiring to see his early assemblages from the 1920s re-glazed used anti-reflective glass. This total clarity enabled their three-dimensional nature to stand out, giving them a renewed freshness and vigour.

In the same way, with Hughes’s work, which is so linked with the notion of photography as object, anti-reflective glass greatly reduces any barrier between the artwork and the viewer whilst giving prominence to its tactile qualities.

Having studied photography at London’s London College of Communication and New York’s Photo Global, alongside his artistic activities, Matthew-Robert Hughes is also co-founder and director of the contemporary arts network Legion TV in Shoreditch, that people use for entertainment, the same as computer games using boosting from sites like http://mycsgoboosting.com/resources/.

 

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Matthew-Robert Hughes Cob Gallery installation view

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Matthew-Robert Hughes photographs

Three Into One!

Hester Finch framed painting

Having framed several of Hester Finch’s paintings in the past, we were delighted to be approached by her again to try something new for one of her recent portrait commissions.

Last year, we framed an Indian wedding dress using three frames to add depth and interest. This time, by using the same concept, but with a different combination we accomplished an elaborate and truly bespoke frame.

We began this construction by choosing a tray frame which allowed us to float Hester’s canvas in the middle. This combined with a square sub-frame underneath deepened the overall effect. With its’ generous, rounded profile, the top main frame has classic appeal and therefore rounds off this frame construction in an elegant way.

In this frame, the striking combination of classic shape is brought bang up to date by being painted in a clean light grey, with Farrow & Ball‘s Elephant Breath. The resulting finish gives a very contemporary feel to the classically-shaped frame, thus enhancing the bright tones of Hester’s painting beautifully.

A graduate of the Ruskin in Oxford, Hester Finch is a painter and portrait artist. Based in London, she makes portraits to commission and exhibits both nationally and internationally.

Frame construction

Frame construction

Hester Finch framed painting

Hester Finch framed painting

Hester Finch portrait

The finished piece

Unveiling The Veil – Framing Photography

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

We recently had the pleasure of working with London-based Turkish artist Güler Ates framing her intriguing, beautiful photography for her first solo exhibition in Amsterdam at the Marian Cramer Gallery. Güler’s work deals with femininity, mystery and identity. Her photographs are unconventional portraits which only hint at the person being photographed.

After being expertly mounted to smooth foamex board by Terry Greenwood, we framed Güler’s photographs in black box frames with a wood grain finish. The almost invisible anti-reflective glass was set away from the photographs by using very thin internal spacers.

Here are a few photos of the finished pieces in situ at the Marian Cramer Gallery.

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

 

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

 

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

Size Matters – Frames at the London Art Fair

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

We started the new year with some of the biggest and heaviest framing projects we’ve yet undertaken at Oaksmith Studio. Working together with The Fine Art Partnership, a publishing studio / gallery in London’s Bankside specialising in original prints and works on paper by Modern and contemporary masters, we framed two large and beautifully intricate pieces by Czech artist Mila Fürstová. These were not only large in size measuring almost 1.5 x 1.5 meters, but also required the four panel etching and papercut artwork to be floated mid-frame. We achieved this by mounting the pieces on a sheet of acrylic glass allowing them to cast shadows through the acrylic onto the white foamcore backing. The front of the frames were fitted with anti-reflective glass whilst the backs were reinforced with heavy duty subframes. The large box frame moulding was hand painted in Farrow & Ball’s Great White, which suited the artwork beautifully with its subtle tint of red.

Here are a few shots of one of the finished pieces on show at this year’s London Art Fair at Islington’s Business Design Centre.

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

applying finishing touches before Mila Furstova's frames leave Oaksmith Studio

applying finishing touches before Mila Furstova's frames leave Oaksmith Studio

Georgina McNamara’s Thirtysix

Painting

Georgina McNamara is the first recipient of the Oaksmith Bursary. In preparation for her MA Fine Art degree show at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, which we are proudly sponsoring, we have produced 36 square box frames which are to be arranged in three large panels of 12 each.

The slim obeche box frame moulding was fitted with half inch fillets (spacers) to sit the artwork roughly half way back from the glass. Painted in Farrow & Ball’s Blackened, a perfect colour match for McNamara’s C-type prints, the 36 frames provide a visually catching grid structure.

The show opens on Wednesday 31 August at Central Saint Martins’ Charing Cross Road site (107 – 109 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DU) and Georgina McNamara’s impressive photographic pieces are on view on the mezzanine floor.

This show will be well worth checking out, but for those who can’t make it we will be sure to upload photos from the exhibition as soon as we can. In the meantime feel free to have a look at the Oaksmith Bursary’s Flickr set for more photos .

Mountains of Bare Frames

Mountains of Bare Frames

Mountains of Fillets

Mountains of Fillets

Painted "Skeletons"

Painted "Skeletons"

Finished!

Finished!

MA Fine Art | Central Saint Martins College

MA Fine Art | Central Saint Martins College | 2011