Frances RookesClick on images to see works more closely
Archaic Vestige Current Issues
Frances travelled to Italy to be part of the LEGATO exhibition - New Zealand artists commemorating the battle of Cassino.
The exhibition was held in the sala Pietro Malatesta, Biblioteca Comunale, Cassino, Italy, in May 2010.
See the Legato website here.
The Themes of the exhibition were: Peace and Remembrance.
Frances Rookes is a second generation New Zealander of Scottish/Swedish descent who lives and works in Taranaki, New Zealand.
She is married to Murray and has two sons and three grandchildren.
She worked as a silkscreen artist for 8 years and spent 9 years in Early Childhood Education, raising her children and art making in between. In 2002 she completed a 3 year Diploma in Fine Arts.
Although her earlier art experiences were based around painting and drawing she is currently also working with knitted copper wire, she will however, use whatever materials she feels will best express her ideas.
The wire forms she has been creating since early 2002 are deliberately feminine or relate to activities seen traditionally as female. The often skeletal, suspended, doll sized, frontal forms she intentionally reinvents make reference to her long battle with an illness during adolescence and early adulthood. A battle she shared with, and eventually lost her sister to. She draws on that experience to speak visually about influencing factors on that journey including family history, education styles and systems, peer pressure, experimental social change, relentless consumer marketing and the ever present influence of the media. Interestingly she had begun the visual exploration of these factors well before coming to the realisation that her works were such a self referencing personal investigation; that insight is currently driving her work. Her art making, and the research involved in the resolution of her ideas, play a huge part in her continuing self discovery. Her recent invitation to travel to and exhibit in Italy, has led her into interesting new areas of investigation and her current works are reflections of that.
Frances holds firm to the ‘healthy body = healthy mind’ ideal and to this end she pays particular attention to her wellbeing. She and is a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Taekwon-Do and apart from the physical aspects of the art she believes in it’s strong underlying moral culture which is intended to create morally empowered citizens and in turn a more peaceful world.
In 2003 Frances won the Taranaki Art Review Sculpture Award and was a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards. Since then she has been creating works for exhibitions both in New Zealand and overseas.
She was invited to exhibit her works in Sir Elton John’s rooms when he performed at the Brooklands Bowl, N.P
In 2008 she won the Taranaki Arts Award Photography Award.
Her mixed media sculptures are in collections both nationally and internationally
Needles to Say - Graduate exhibition (Nov 2002)
Come to Life -Tamarillo Gallery, Wellington (May 2003)
Tarts in K.Rd - The Gully Lounge Gallery, Auckland (Nov 2003)
Escape Artists - Gallery 547, Hamilton (Mar 2004)
The Graduate - The Percy Thomson Gallery, Stratford. (Sept 2004)
X-Factor - The Percy Thomson Gallery, Stratford. (Mar 2005)
Vanitas - Upstairs Gallery of Fine Arts, Whitianga. (June 2005)
Vanitas - Virtual exhibition http://virtual.tart.co.nz (July 2005)
Taranaki Collection - The Percy Thomson Gallery, Stratford (July 2006)
Cities-of-Art - Port Moody Arts Centre, Port Moody, Canada (Aug 2007)
X 5 – 2nd Edition - Fritz Rueter Gallery, Taranaki. (Feb 2008)
NZ MADE – The Plymouth International Hotel, New Plymouth. (Jun 08)
Riversdale Annual Art Exhibition – Riversdale, Southland. (Jul 08)
Wax Women’s Art Awards – Gisborne (Oct 2008)
Taranaki Art Awards 2008 - Winner photographic award.
Whakatane Summer Arts Festival –Molly Morpeth Canaday, guest exhibitior (Jan 2009)
Imagine – The Plymouth International Hotel (June 2009)
Dramatic Art - Percy Thomson Gallery, Stratford (Feb/Mar 2010)
Creative Juices II - Fritz Rueter Gallery, Taranaki. (Feb/Mar 2010)
Legato – Mueso Biblioteca, Cassino, Lazio. Italy (May 2010)
Legato – Peace & Remembrance travelling exhibition - Lazio Italy May 2010 – Feb 2011
Legato NZ – Wallace Trust Gallery Feb/Mar 2011
Reconfiguration – Real Tart Gallery, New Plymouth Feb/Mar 2011
Reflections of Italy – Academy of Fine Arts – Wellington (May 2011)
Renegades – Pukeariki Museum/Gallery – New Plymouth (August 2011)
Frances has been a regular exhibitor at:
Oriel Gallery, Marlborough
Morgan Street Gallery, Auckland
Real Tart Gallery New Plymouth
contact – 027 2024500 or email at rookesmft @ xtra.co.nz (take out spaces)