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‘Crossing Boundaries’

A Commemorative Exhibition of Artwork by

Carol Farrow (1944-2012)

22nd September-8th October 2017

The Jointure Studios, Ditching, Sussex

Many art lovers are already admirers and devotees of Carol’s innovative work:

she is recognised as the gifted maker of stunningly beautiful and compelling wall-

hung Paperworks. Her intriguing and delicate sculptural objects in Paperclay are

less well known, even though she had used the material since inventing it in

1981. This commemorative exhibition of her remaining works at Jointure Studios

in Sussex will celebrate her mastery of colour and texture, her joy in form and

materials, and introduce her unique art to a new audience. All art works will be

for sale.

Why the title ‘Crossing Boundaries’?

For several reasons: firstly, and mainly, because Carol crossed the conventional divide

between Fine Art and Craft. She combined her exceptional artistic talents with experimental

enquiries into the materials she used, making innovations in painting, ceramics and fibre art,

becoming well known for her brave and pioneering spirit. Secondly, she established studios in

both England and France. Thirdly, she had an international exhibition schedule which included

Europe, America, Turkey and China. And finally, having invented Paperclay in 1981, and

advanced handmade paper as a medium for artists, she became a passionate ambassador for

both, sharing her love of them with students in several European countries, Israel and India.

Paperclay: a new ceramic material

She invented Paperclay out of a desire to make

light, large-scale ceramic wall panels. This

material has since had a major, global impact in

the world of ceramics. In 1987, The Artist’s

Newsletter published her account of the birth of

the material. She later developed sculptural

forms derived from kitchen utensils. Bitters.Co,

a Seattle gallery exhibiting them, said this: ‘her

work is beautiful, full of warmth and incredible

textural character’.

Paperworks: Texture, Colour, Format

Her handmade paper was made specifically for her paintings (Paperworks) allowing her control

over their size and shape, as well as their surface and edge qualities. Her colour sense was

infallible, and whether delicate or robust, it always imbued her works with emotional

resonance. By adopting the unusual diptych and triptych formats she added dynamic rhythm

to her large-scale composite works. Heavily stitched ‘hinges’ formed knotty features that

punctuated a variety of contrasting surface textures, enhancing their strong physical presence.

Viewers found the work fascinating, with qualities redolent of leather or metal, and charged

with an irresistibly beautiful luminosity.

Inspiration: things changed by time, use

and weather.

Carol’s wall-hung Paperworks were often inspired

by architectural features changed by weathering,

ageing, use, repair or alternative function. Working

in France amongst the old local stone buildings she

made direct paper casts of carved windows and

lintels, decrepit wooden doors and shutters, worn

floorboards and garden tools deformed by years of use. These casts became poignant low-

relief painted paperworks that recalled a bygone lifestyle.

Her sculptural Paperclay objects also referenced the past: the material was perfect for

capturing the scratched, ‘found’ and ‘friendly’ qualities of surfaces on utensils changed by the

effects of use. Some pieces were impressed with fabric or metal to evoke the ‘memory’ of such

articles. In addition, she enjoyed the interaction between the forms and often made composite

or grouped works. Loving old linen sheets, clothes, and ticking, she made a contribution to

Fibre Arts with wittily constructed tinted collages using a different vocabulary of shapes and

quiet surface textures alluding to other lives already lived.

Her friend, fellow maker and ‘The Basketry Garden’ blogger Stella Harding says ‘Carol was a

gifted artist, teacher and mentor with a most kind and generous spirit: her garden, the legacy

of a creative life with not one moment wasted, will always be full of flowers’.

Teaching: a generous and open attitude

A deeply committed and inspirational teacher, she gave freely of her

knowledge and ideas to the many students that made their way to her

courses from far and wide. She taught both her papermaking and

paperclay processes to hundreds of appreciative students over the years.

They learned of her concerns about conservation and environmental

issues. Sculptor Alison Simpson says ‘I hope one day my work will live up

to her input, and I’m sad that I won’t be able to show it to her. Let today

be Carol Farrow Day - I’m off to the studio’.

Editor’s Note

Venue: The Jointure Studios, 11 South Street, Ditching, Sussex BN6 8UQ

Exhibition open: 11am-5.30pm Friday, Saturday & Sunday

22nd September-8th October 2017

Further information:

Email contact:

Phone contact: Shirley Crowther 01273 841244

Web: or