Frances Priest

“My work explores pattern and ornament in decorative art and design; where it is found, how it is used and the craft process involved in it’s production. Recently I have been drawn to pattern books and to thinking about how they are compiled and used by designers and crafts people. I think ornament is exciting because it is a visual language that can communicate a great deal about people, places and cultures. I am excited by the idea of the mobility of ornament and how, through reproduction, motifs evolve and change as a consequence of the individual makers hand, manufacturing processes and materials. I enjoy the accessibility of pattern and how we all have a connection or understanding of languages of ornament. Pattern books in particular seem to embody the democratic nature of pattern, offering an open source of ideas which can be used and adapted.

These interests fuel work across a range of platforms from gallery exhibitions and designs commissions through to residencies and socially engaged projects.  At the heart of my practice is a long held interest in clay, its associated craft processes and the objects that emerge from using it to make things by hand. The resulting work can reach toward drawing, printmaking, installation, participation, collaboration, design and architectural additions or interventions. Beyond the studio I work on educational and participatory projects in a variety of contexts, enjoying the opportunity to respond to new places and people in relation to my own practice.”


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