Art Exhibition: Fran Giffard’s “A Myriad of Birds”

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In “Artist’s flights of fancy brighten diary pages,” Jessie Moniz Hardy writes about the latest Masterworks show in Bermuda, “A Myriad of Birds,” a series of watercolors by Fran Giffard, which will be on view from May 16 to 28, 2014. This exhibition is also part of a residency program; on May 17, the artist will be giving an aquarelle workshop. Here are excerpts from the article:

The average diary entry can be a bit mundane. [. . .] Fran Giffard, the latest Masterworks artist in residence, has a cure for that, insert a colourful bird. Next month she will be holding an exhibition of her work, a series of birds done in aquarelle, a form of watercolours. The show will be called A Myriad of Birds and the art work will be painted over used Moleskine brand diary pages.

[. . .] When she applied for the Masterworks residency she was told that she didn’t have to produce anything Bermuda themed, but they wanted her to make the most of the residency. “So my brief was to draw birds over diary pages that reference Bermuda and my time here,” Miss Giffard said.

Although there are many exotic birds depicted, there will also be many Bermuda characters in the exhibition. For example, a St George’s resident invited Miss Giffard home to meet his parrot, Terry the macaw. The blue and gold parrot soon had his own diary page. There are also cardinals, blue birds, two species of flamingos and a cahow in the show. Some of the birds are not typically found in Bermuda, but their plumage reflects the colours of the Island.

“For the Bermuda series I don’t repeat the birds at all,” she said. “Each painting is a challenge in getting the colours right and trying to capture the nature of the bird itself.”

She studied art at Camberwell College of Arts in London and interned with Mat Collishaw who is well known for being part of an arts group called Young British Artists (YBA) in the United Kingdom. For her final university project she drew every species of vulture.

Since she has been in Bermuda she has been inspired to change her focus.

“I went to the Aquarium,” she said. “I had forgotten what beautiful fish you have in Bermuda. I think that will be my next subject.”

For full article, see http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20140425/ISLAND04/140429856

To learn more about the artist, see her website at www.frangiffard.com

For more information on Masterworks see www.bermudamasterworks.com

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