Introducing Fell House Artist in Residence - Lois Palframan


Over 10 days in November 2014 Lois Palframan will create a temporary, site-specific, installation in Fell House - a disused office building and former Police HQ in the centre of Wakefield. The installation will take the form of a drawing created directly onto the walls of this former police office. The work will be open to the public for Wakefield Artwalk, 26 November 2014, after which time it will be removed.

To create the installation Lois will carefully highlight in pencil the shadows and incidental marks visible on the walls of the office. This contemplative process and the resulting work will reflect on the past use of the room and the way we inhabit working spaces physically and emotionally.

For Lois, the tranquillity of this process, noting and responding directly to her surroundings in the moment of making, will act as a counterbalance to the controlling nature of paid employment. 

In making the work she sees herself as not deliberating, but instead freely responding to what is already there to ‘see what happens’.

Much of Lois’ recent work has focussed on a careful exploration of surface and mark-making, working intuitively without an obvious reference point, but always grounded in the site of presentation. Be this a chapel, allotment or elsewhere, the works invite in the viewer an attentiveness to their surroundings. Lois wishes herself to be invisible in the works, allowing viewers to find their own responses. 

Like John Cage’s 4’ 33’’, where the orchestra are silent and the audience are allowed to experience the incidental noises of the auditorium, her works invite us to contemplate the physical environment, existing only in the moment of encounter. 

Lois’ installation follows in a long line of visual artists whose work could be seen as in some way being about absence. From Robert Rauschenburg’s ‘Erased De Kooning Drawing’, where he quite literally rubbed out a drawing by the artist Willem De Kooning, to the Hayward Gallery’s 2012 exhibition ‘Invisible: Art about the Unseen’, the act of allowing the viewer to envisage the subject by removing or excluding spectacle has a rich history in our visual culture. She likens the work also to that of Cy Twombly and his spontaneous, freely scribbled drawings.

In a fitting end to the piece the work will be carefully erased after the closing of the event and the room once again returned to the order of the workplace.

Words by Lesley Farrell. images by Andy Lord

Lois's installation will be showing as part of November Artwalk on 26 November. Event details HERE