Fiona Fouhy: Scratching the Surface – explorations in chalk

From 4 March 2017
To 26 March 2017

Meet the Artist – please join us, all are welcome

Fiona Fouhy will be available after her talk from 3.30 on Saturday 11 March to discuss her work, influences and process

Artist Talk


The artist will give a talk at the Lombard Street Gallery on Saturday 11th March 2.30pm as part of the POW!Thanet festival (8-11th March) – this is a FREE TICKETED event – reserve your seat here


In this new body of work Fiona Fouhy uses Margate chalk to draw, paint and print with. Her explorations into the subject of chalk have led her down pathways into neuroscience and micropaleontology, hence her sense of only knowing a little on a broad topic.

As in much of her practice, it is concerned with a specific place, in this case, the stretch of beaches between Margate and Broadstairs, an area with which she has a lifetime association. Fouhy realised that her close proximity to the cliffs – the salty smell, the cold dampness – produce a physical reaction in her; a strong affinity with the place. ‘There is a pull of place that operates on each of us.’[1] Fouhy has been interested to find out more about the human sense of ‘place’ and the brain’s ability to ‘know’ where it is in the world. On hearing Richard Morris speaking about his mouse ‘water maze’ and the region in the brain that enables us to sense places (in the hippocampus), Fouhy has chosen to include elements of these ideas in her work.

The way that chalk is formed is on both an historically epic and physically microscopic scale. It can be viewed through a powerful microscope to see the tiny nanofossils (coccolithophores) of which it is made up and it can also be seen in large phytoplankton blooms in the sea from outer space. ‘Chalk was laid down on the bed of epicontinental seas at a rate of about 1mm per century over a period of about 35 million years. Chalk is the dominant formation of South Eastern England and it has influenced the industry, architecture and imagination of that region for thousands of years.’[2]

Fouhy’s approach to making work is experimental, using ink that has been hand made with Margate chalk pigment and allowing chance occurrences to form part of the process. She uses methods of embossing paper, mono printing and drawing as well as washing surfaces with ground-up chalk powder and water.

Fiona Fouhy Walk: pick up a leaflet in Lombard Street Gallery to follow in Fiona’s footsteps and discover the landscapes that inspire her.


‘Photo-micro-graphs’ of coccolithophores used with kind permission from Dr Jeremy Young

[1] Lucy Lippard, ‘The Lure of the Local’ 1997.

[2] Robert Macfarlane, ‘The Old Ways’ 2012.

Lombard Street Gallery POW! Thanet International Womens Day

Fiona Fouhy

Coccolithophore: Discosphaera

print in an edition of 25: embossed Somerset satin paper
£85 unframed/£195 framed  Buy on Own Art

Coccolithophore: Coronosphaera binodata

print in an edition of 20: embossed Somerset satin paper
£95 unframed/£210 framed  Buy on Own Art


monoprint: chalk & white ink on BFK Rives black paper
£164.40 unframed/£495 framed  Buy on Own Art


painting: chalk, pva, blackboard paint on mdf
£595  Buy on Own Art


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