Frances Gynn

About the artist


The Mall Galleries, London, SW1
Little Dartmouth, Dartmouth
Galerie het Vijfde Huis, Antwerp
Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth
RWA Bristol, Bristol


The majority of my work to date has been about something I refer to as 'Beach Conversations’. In this series of paintings and drawings, I respond to the transformation of quotidian flotsam on the tideline.The softening and etching of surfaces wrought by sea and shore on manufactured objects embodies a dynamic dialogue between man and nature. Drawing out and on usability of  'waste' in the natural environment: discarded, reclaimed, colonised by nature to be washed up, reclaimed and transformed again.

One 'conversation' has been about 'strange attractors'. Items that catch your eye, often because they are either not organic or appear so. It is from these strange attractors that I build a narrative in my work. I am interested in suggestions of human presence within nature and convey the inspiration through representation or abstraction, or both.

A particular walk I make most days along the sea front washes up a collection of images; a reflection of my thoughts, my mood, a physical presence. 

Beach jetsam and flotsam might suggest a conversation, an event, a sensation. 

The process is an important part of my work. I layer diluted oil paint and beach tar, rub away paint with sandpaper to mimic the sea's wearing away of objects and take paint castings of found objects which I incorporate into my paintings.

In contrast to the coast, I gather inspiration of a similar theme from the countryside inland.


BA (hons) Fine Art, Exeter
S.I.A.D Graphic Design

Exhibition History

2020 November - 2021 May   RWA 168 Annual Open Exhibition Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
2020 December   Estuary - The Elements Joint Exhibition, Dart Estuary
2020 September   20:60 Paintings and Drawings Frances Gynn Solo Exhibition Collection of Works, Devon
2020 October  Exhibition Burton at Bideford Gallery Artist Commission Award 2020
2020  Burton at Bideford Gallery Artist Commission Award 2020
2020  Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Exhibition 2019 Trinity Buoy Wharf, London (touring)
2019  2019 -2020 now until 11 January 2020 Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Exhibition 2019 Salisbury Museum, Wiltshire (touring)
2019  South West Academy Open Exhibition
2019  The ArTag Award 167th Royal West of England Academy Annual Open Exhibition
2019 September  167th Royal West of England Academy Annual Open Exhibition
2019 September  Selected for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2019
2019 July.   Group Exhibition Picturing the Word Dartington Print Workshop, Devon. An exhibition of handmade artists’ books.
2019 May.   Group Exhibition Re-birth Coombe Gallery Devon
15th November - 25th November 2018  Mall Galleries, London SW1 The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition Selector's choice exhibition room.
2018 October  Academician Candidates Exhibition at the RWA Royal West of England Academy, Bristol.
2018  Selected for the Wells Art Contemporary Award
2018  Selected for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize (formerly Jerwood)2018
2018 October - November  Bogliasco, Italy - Fellowship award
2017  Collaborative and Solo Hallsands Revisited, South Hallsands cliff top, Devon. A site-specific event to commemorate the centenary year of the taking of the village of thirty seven houses by the sea. A collaborative event with musicians Lona Kozik and Sam Richards including an audio/visual performance. (Catalogue).
2017  Award and Open Exhibition Drawn 2017, Royal West of England Academy (RWA), Bristol. Winner of the Theresa Knowles Travel Bursary Award
2017  Mixed Exhibition Tree Life, Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth, Devon
2017  Group Exhibition Off the Peg. Printmakers from the Dartington Print Workshop, Dartington, Devon.
2016  Solo Exhibition Frances Gynn, Paintings and Drawings Little Dartmouth, Devon. The culmination of work produced after an eighteen month residency. A site-specific response to the work of garden designer, Dan Pearson. Landscaping on the coast from cultivated to wild.
2014 - 2016 Residency Little Dartmouth  A year plus working at Little Dartmouth responding to the work of garden designer Dan Pearson, Sally Benthall and Edward Benthall.
2015  Group Exhibition Palate to Palette, Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth,Devon
Oct-Dec 2014  'Tideline' Galerie het Vijfde, Antwerp
July 2014  'Flow' Little Dartmouth, Devon
March 2013   Royal West of England Academy Drawn 2013 Exhibition
2012  Bunker Project Marlborough. Mixed exhibition.
2010  John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize Second Stage Finalist
2010  Raw Material Exhibition Coombe Gallery, Devon
2009  Coombe Gallery, Devon
2008  Unseen South Hams group exhibition
2008  Mixed exhibition, Coombe Gallery Devon
2007  Affordable art fair
2007  Mixed exhibition Coombe Gallery, Devon
2006  Solo Exhibition, Ainscough Gallery, London
2005  Art Bar Live, Exeter
2004  Drawing the line, Coombe Gallery Devon
2000  British Arts Festival Kuwait
2000  Bahrain
1989  Turicum Gallery, Zurich Switzerland