Francesca has worked as an art teacher alongside her own practice for many years. She has designed and facilitated projects and workshops across Oxfordshire, regularly working with The Ashmolean Museum, Asthall Manor and local schools.
For over a decade Francesca has lead a collaboration with The Ashmolean Learning department and Oxfordshire Artweeks. Each year it takes the form an interactive artwork created in family workshops and exhibited in the museum galleries during the month of May and often beyond. Every participant contributes to the main artwork and always makes something exciting to take home.
PAINTING IN THE PARK Artweeks Ashmolean Project 2022
On a sunny, spring Saturday several hundred people attended an ‘en plain air’ painting session in Florence Park Oxford. The paintings and the participants have been captured by photographer Jacob Chambers for a display in The Ashmolean during Artweeks in May. The idea sprung from the Camille Pissarro exhibition at the Ashmolean and echoed the Impressionist’s love of painting outdoors. We would like to thank our partners Flo’s, The Place on the Park and Nature Escape, and our wonderful volunteers Heather, Celia and Lance.
MAKE AND MEND Artweeks Ashmolean Project 2021
This project was conducted on Zoom with members of ‘Branch Up’, one of Oxford Hub’s community groups. Participants received a box delivered to their door and in it was a broken plaster plate for them to reassemble and colour. The plates were inspired by The Ashmolean’s collection of Japanese artifacts and were mended using gold on the creaks in the traditional way called ‘kintsugi’. The plates will be exhibited in the Ashmolean in May when the museum reopens. The participants will be invited to come and see their handiwork and maybe visit the conservation studio.
CREATING KEEPSAKES ASHMOLEAN/ARTWEEKS 2020
The project was partnered with the charity Peeple, which supports parents with children’s learning. Taking a 2,500-year-old infant feeding cup from ancient Greece as inspiration, families made terracotta clay cups for their own children. These were fired ad waxed and will be on display in the Greece Gallery when the museum opens again.
SCULPT MOULD CAST ASHMOLEAN 2019
This project was a series of day workshops for adults and explored the process of making a model and casting it in plaster. Francesca worked with PhD student Abbey Ellis who delivered fascinating talks and guided tours of the Cast Gallery and the exhibition Last Supper in Pompeii. Participants sculpted little statues and then cast them in plaster and patinated them to create a variety of finishes.
DIGITAL PORTRAITS ASHMOLEAN 2019
This project was designed for year 6 students at Rose Hill Primary School and supported by The Arts Society Oxford. Over several days in the museum, the students explored expressions of identity in a variety of ways. They toured the painting galleries and created traditional portraits by dressing up, they worked with Apps to digitally manipulate their photos and paintings, and they made masks and graffiti tags.
BOWLS AND SCROLLS ASHMOLEAN/ARTWEEKS 2018
In partnership with Artweeks this project was inspired a by a 7th Century magical bowl covered in Mandaic writing and a tiny scroll decorated with Qur’anic verses both housed in the Reading and Writing Gallery where the artwork was then displayed. During the workshop families decorated and filled it with writing and drawings, and the public continued to fill it with messages and wishes for the months it was on display.
THE WATLINGTON HOARD 2018
As part of the Anglo Saxons and Vikings Big Weekend at The Ashmolean Museum, Francesca created an interactive display/artwork representing the excavation trench where this significant hoard of treasure was found. Families made coins to bury in the trench and drew Vikings and Anglo Saxons to stick onto the backdrop that she painted to represent the Chiltern hills where the hoard was found in 2015. It has recently been purchased by The Ashmolean.