Freya Pocklington Featured Artist of the Month

Written by Digswell Arts

On June 1, 2016
Image: Frank and Frida From Florence, Conte on Paper, 80 x 60 cm 2015. Freya Pocklington

Image: Frank and Frida From Florence, Conte on Paper, 80 x 60 cm 2015. Freya Pocklington

Freya Pocklington has been a fellow with Digswell Arts for 5 months and 2 years at The Forge site of Digswell Arts. Freya is an artist specialising in drawing and painting. We asked Freya a few questions to find out more.

How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?

My studio work explores the notion of the archive as a physical form in what is becoming a progressively digital world. I extract and re-contextualise new narratives from the streamed cacophony of constantly updated images and stories that the internet provides. I gravitate towards animal stories and how through time, these change due to a Chinese whispers effect of the internet as each person posts it with a slightly different take on the original story.

I also explore the social role of pets and the urge we seem to have to humanise wild animals, possibly as a result of feeling so removed from our own relationship with nature. I examine the suppression of natural instincts by revealing the unnatural consequences of interfering with evolution. Ethical boundaries are raised through the inversion of conditioned roles, with humans revealing animalistic tendencies when left unchecked.

The larger drawings are a mix of ink and pastel layered up similar to the process of using oil paint. This method allows for intricate detail and depth to the image. Most of the visual material that forms the basis of my drawings originates from internet sources. This way of gathering imagery stems from periods of illness I have experienced in the past, where the internet acted as a lifeline and means of communication with the outside world.

What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops etc)?

I am currently Artist in Residence at Acorn Bank, a National trust property in the North West. During the residency I am seeking out present day contemporaries of Beatrix Potter and Dorothy Una Ratcliffe who are actively involved in challenging gender roles within farming and preserving the Lake District landscape. I am recording conversations with the participants which will hopefully inspire future generations as well as being a digital archive of this time. Alongside the sound pieces, I am drawing the women in farming and the animals they are so passionate about, which will form a physical archive.

This will be on show at Hill Top Farm and Acorn Bank for the next 6 months.

What are your plans for the coming year?

Alongside making work for The National Trust, I will be researching the positive impact animals have on patients in hospitals. This will be a collaborative project with NHS trusts and patents.

What is the question you get asked about your work and how do you answer it?

Why I put feet in the works. Answer: It is my signature.

What or who inspired you to be an artist and why?

My dad.

Which artist do you most admire and why?

I don’t admire many artists, we are quite a selfish bunch. Farmers, doctors and teachers, who are all getting screwed over by politics unfortunately, are people that I admire and find inspiring.

How has your relationship with Digswell Arts strengthened your practice as an artist?

It is a very different environment from the London studios, it Is fun and supportive, the spaces are a good size and are affordable.

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