Artists using Archives: James Frew

Archives are a huge source of creative inspiration, as GSA Painting and Printmaking student James Frew discovered when he visited our photograph collection in 2013! He made this wonderful monochrome painting following his visit, inspired by one of the photographs he saw. You can see more of James’ work on his website here.

Painting by James Frew, oil on board
Painting by James Frew (oil on board)

The work is 5 x 4 feet – pretty huge! James found his trip to the archives really useful and inspiring…

“I found out about the archives through my tutors in first year, so thought it would be beneficial to check it out as I was told it was a rich resource.

I liked the photograph because it was bold, with a strong sense of contrast that I felt would translate into paint very well.

I decided to work with the archives because I felt I could get first hand access to primary resources that would give my work a well informed look; I have recently revisited the archive for further inspiration, and plan to do so again to enhance my work.”

Feeling inspired? Why not visit GSA Archives and Collections yourself to see if we can help you with your creative process. We’d also love to hear any stories about how you have used archives creatively. Email archives@gsa.ac.uk or phone 0141 566 1418 for more information.

Anne Howatson modelling Alex Gourley's Pringle cashemere sweater, c1960, the inspiration for James' artwork (GSAA/P/1/238)
Anne Howatson modelling Alex Gourley’s Pringle cashemere sweater, c1960, the inspiration for James’ artwork (GSAA/P/1/238)
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