Fran’s drawing-based work documents her family’s relationship with domestic spaces and their impact on the natural world.
Motherhood provides an ambient background. After her first solo exhibition at Greenhill Galleries in 2000 Fran won the 2003 Ruth Tuck Scholarship to Santa Repararta International School of Art, Florence, returning to complete Honours in Visual Arts at SASA in 2005. Her portrait of Chrissy Amphlett was shortlisted in the 2012 Portia Geach Memorial Art Prize.
After 2012 the kitchen tabletop became, out of motherhood-necessity, her studio, domestic routines marking evolving palimpsests across unstretched canvas ‘tablecloths’. ‘Tabletop 1’ won the Fleurieu Food & Wine Art Prize 2016. Fran’s Limber Up mentorship with Christopher Orchard led to representation with BMG, with solo exhibitions in 2017 and - supported by the Ed Tweddell Studio Residency at Central Studios - in SALA 2018. Her botanical inspired ‘Collections Project’ work in 2017 was exhibited in SALA and FRANFest.
She was curated by Gabi Lane into ‘Good Mother’ at Central School of Art, SALA 2018, this artwork shortlisted in STILL National Still Life Award 2019, and the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing 2020. Recent work responds to her 2019 Country Arts residency to Grindell’s Hut in Adnyamathanha country, to be exhibited at Yarta Purtli Cultural Centre, Port Augusta 2020, and Collective Haunt in SALA.
Fran’s work was recently shortlisted in The Paul Guest Prize for Drawing 2019, Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize 2019, and Adelaide Parklands Art Prize 2020. Fran teaches drawing/painting at Adelaide College of the Arts.
Fran Callen : Pour Here, 2020 | Ochre, bushfire ash, acacia and eucalyptus sap, tea, coffee, wine, ink, charcoal, graphite and gesso on recycled tea and porridge sachets, 65 x 200 cm
Finalist, 2020 Pro Hart Outback Art Prize
‘Pour Here’ was created during the 2019-20 bushfires, considering losses suffered. Each material holds a story. Ochre from Yalmarralpana Ochre Pit in Adnyamathanha Country, gifted by Uncle Cliff Coulthard. Bushfire ash washed up on Edithburgh beach in Nharangga Country.
Eucalyptus sap from our home within remnants of endangered Grey Box Grassy Woodland on Kaurna land. Tea, coffee and wine. Painted on recycled tea and porridge sachets used by my family, I was reflecting on landscapes we’d recently travelled through, some recently burnt, some suffering from serious long-term drought, and our home in the Adelaide Hill’s where catastrophic fire days seem progressively more common.
The work was created in response to my 2019 residency to Grindell's Hut with Country Arts SA where it hadn’t rained in four years.
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