My name is Louise Bristow, I’m an artist and I live and work in Brighton. At the end of September 2013 I was appointed Artist Coordinator for Young People at Fabrica. This blog is a space for me to document my progress in this role and share my thoughts.
I studied painting and printmaking at art college, and since moving to Brighton in 1988 I have always worked alongside other artists in group studios (first of all Maze Studios, which I helped set up, and now Phoenix). Here is a photo of one of my paintings, called Kiosk, Red, Green, Blue (gouache on board, 2013).
I have been involved in art education in one way or another for a long time – I got a lucky break when I was a student and landed a job teaching drawing skills on a further education course run by the Polytechnic. After this I moved into facilitating workshops in museums and galleries in the South East and London, including the Natural History Museum, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, the Towner in Eastbourne and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. When Creative Partnerships was set up in 2002 I got involved in several longer-term projects working with them. Over time the focus of artist/educator work has changed and certainly my approach to it has developed. I think this is inevitable as I change as a person and as an artist.
In 2007 Fabrica invited me to be the ‘animateur in residence’ for their autumn exhibition Land of Cockaigne which featured a film installation by artist Rachel Reupke. This was an enticing but challenging offer for me as I was asked to put my own work at the centre of the residency. This wasn’t something I did as a rule – up until that point I tended to separate the two sides of myself into “educator” and “artist”. As an educator I used the skills, knowledge and expertise I possess as an artist, but didn’t actually include my own work in the equation. The animateur residency turned out to be a good experience for me – I gained confidence and it deepened my understanding of Fabrica.
I’ve posted some images below of some of the work that came out of my animateur residency, and here is a link to my own website: Louise Bristow’s website
During the animateur residency I was looking at ‘constructed landscapes’, so I set up various activities for gallery visitors to explore this theme.