Drawings and animation, 2017
Archive Blues is a new body of work created during an artist-in-residency at Leeds Art Gallery. I was commissioned by the gallery to make new works in response to their collection of John Sell Cotman and Sydney Kitson.
For more info on their collection and re-cataloguing visit cotmania.org/
For more on Cotman, visit sublimesites.co/ by Professor David Hill, who was closely involved in the project.
Exhibition History, watercolour on paper, 67 x 70 cm
Exhibition History next to Great Woods by Cotman, installation shot
Spines I, watercolour on paper, 42 x 60 cm
Spines II, watercolour on paper, 42 x 60 cm
Covers, watercolour on paper, 42 x 60 cm
Glove, watercolour on paper, 29 x 42 cm
Folders, watercolour on paper, 42 x 60 cm
Paperclips, watercolour on paper, 29 x 42 cm
Archive Blues is a new body of work created by artist Hondartza Fraga in response to Leeds Art Gallery’s new exhibition of John Sell Cotman’s works and Sydney Decimus Kitson’s archive.
Artist-in-residence Hondartza Fraga has created a series of new works in response to the Cotman collection and Kitson archive. Fascinated by the relationship between the original objects and the tools used to care for them, Fraga has sought to reveal and make visible the hidden workings of both an archive and a collection. Fraga worked in watercolour after Cotman and chose blue after Kitson who bound his Cotmania notebooks in a greyish blue to echo Cotman’s use of the colour. Her animations and watercolours offer a contemporary response to the work of John Sell Cotman and a homage to Sydney Decimus Kitson’s ‘Cotmania’.
In her own words Fraga has sought to create ‘a visual eulogy to the archival process itself, its instruments and also its melancholy’. Kitson’s notebooks are particularlypoignant. They trace his unfailing dedication to the study of Cotman. The last volume is incomplete, disrupted by his death, and remains bound in red.
The works Spines I & II and Covers closely follow the form of Kitson’s notebooks, directing our gaze not to their contents but to their character. Exhibition History is based on Greta Woods, which was regarded as one of Cotman’s most important works, following its inclusion in his 1922 exhibition at the Tate. The back of the frame is covered with labels that reveal a rich history of past exhibitions, owners and auction sales. Fraga has used the forms and arrangement of these labels to inform this watercolour.
Download the full brochure of the project here.