Biography

Influenced by notions of bewilderment and entanglement, Francesca Mollett uses paint to express an intimate, porous exchange between a human presence and more-than human bodies; water, stones, plants, weather. In her paintings, whilst forms verge on being recognizable, thresholds open and then fold in on themselves; the material body dissolves; and structures liquefy. Emotional events within literature mediate Mollett’s perception, in particular when a character experiences an encounter that deconstructs their expected version of what’s known, expanding their sense of potential, and making moments of deep connection with their surroundings. The paintings often combine these collective experiences with personal immersion within a place or an absorbing encounter with a non-human being where research into their mythology, geology, and biology often become metaphors for looking and inform aspects of each painting’s layers.

 

Mollett views her language of abstraction as interpretations of surface. For instance, responses to particular qualities of light on the stony, mossy inside of a sacred well are translated and re-invented with acrylic and oil on calico - a thin, smooth, skin-like surface that allows luminous fluidity but also holds weight and texture. She is intrigued by the conceit that the surface of a painting can be a place to experience an inner reality. The surface of a painting and the surface of a pond are both taut areas: an entry or a stirrring of the wind on the pond can break and scatter the surface, and offer depth and the unknown. In composing the painting, she looks carefully at how motion and direction in each area react and relate to one another, questioning what’s needed for the essence to remain, and what can open up new possibilities towards an image. The shifting passages portray a version of consciousness that alternates between continuous flow and sudden thoughts - a fragmented interior space full of collages of memory and anticipations of the future.

 


 

Francesca Mollett was born in Bristol, UK in 1991.  She graduated with an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London in 2020, and previously studied at The Royal Drawing School (2015) and Wimbledon College of Arts (2014) and is the recipient of the Aidan Threlfall Award (2020). Recent exhibitions include The Kingfisher's Wing, curated by Tom Morton at GRIMM, New York, NY (2022); Spiral Walking, Baert Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2022); An Ode to Orlando, curated by Marcelle Joseph at Pi Artworks, London, UK (2022); Down in Albion at L.U.P.O., Lorenzelli Projects, Milan, Italy (2021); Le coeur encore at The Approach, London, UK (2021); Wild Shade at Informality Gallery, Henley-on-Thames, UK (2021);  Diaries of a Climate at Baert Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2021) and London Grads Now, at Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2020). Francesca has co-curated a number of shows, including Dust sheet embroidered snow, Project Gallery, Arundel (2019); The Value of Liveliness, White Crypt, London (2018); and Smoke gets in your eye, rural BAES, near Lewes (2018). She co-ran and founded ‘The Benevolent Association of Excellent Solutions’, a set of artist studios and project space in Deptford from 2015-2016.

Works
Exhibitions