“What kind of beast is your salamander?” asked the Prince. “It is hard to tell their kind, your Honor,” said Golg. “For they are too…
The Topanga Artists’ Studio Tour is back after a two-year forced hiatus! In honor of this 20th anniversary, this column will appear in Topanga New Times until the tour, which is June 11 and 12. Future columns will each feature the work of three of the 38 artists participating in the tour.
Zo Frampton, a Topanga-based artist, received her MFA from the California College of the Arts and has shown work in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Her current body of work consists of intricate monochromatic drawings in ink, graphite, and acrylic on clayboard. Her curiosity and concern for the natural world is reflected in drawings that incorporate shapes and patterns found in microorganisms, coral reefs or the rhythm of storms.
Frampton’s drawings are time intensive, even obsessive, taking weeks or sometimes months to create. Each is built an element at a time in a patient, meditative process. With every additional layer, the tiny marks amass and evolve into organic whimsical landscapes. The drawings are an accumulation, creating the illusion of three dimensions through depth and complexity. Her piece “Safety in Numbers” is a vast swirl of fish-like shapes, rendered in skeletal black and white, and was created in response to the crisis of declining sardine populations around the world.
Frampton’s work straddles the divide between abstraction and figuration. Her works are simultaneously minimal and dense, macroscopic and microscopic. The drawings exhibit a remarkable elegance and restraint, even as they are clearly the result of hours upon hours of meticulously focused mark-making.
While the inspiration for the subject matter is organic in origin, the use of black media on white paper and clayboard works as a visual foil for what would naturally be multicolored in the wild; by stripping out color, the works have an almost hypnotic effect on the viewer’s retina, thereby carrying the message (and warning) of humanity’s negative impact on nature.
Her work ranges from 6” x 6” to 36” x 48.”
Frampton will be showing in her home studio, overlooking the state park. She is joined by Delbar Azari, whose dimensional works in various mediums including resin are uniquely dramatic and decorative.
Trudy Perry is a mixed media fiber artist living and working in Topanga. She creates woven wall art on her looms as well as knotty rope sculptures.
Perry started her fiber journey with a background in fashion design. After working in the industry and with various creative companies, she picked up a loom and began creating woven wall art. She says, “Weaving is like meditation and is very forgiving.” Her process is intuitive and she rarely uses a pattern or drawing. She lets the materials guide her and she enjoys working on a large scale.
During Covid, Trudy started playing more with rope as a stress relief. She now has been commissioned to do large scale rope pieces across the US. She recently has started to incorporate rope into her weaving.
She prefers to work in neutrals, incorporating small areas of color. Most of the work is hung, ranging from small wall hangings ranging from 14” wide up to 42” wide, with some smaller tabletop knotty rope sculptures and fiber wall pockets that incorporate agate and air plants. Most of the work combines rope, leather, copper, wool and string with crystals and air plants.
She will be showing at her own studio, joined by Rebecca Catterall, whose whimsical, beautiful and practical ceramic work is well known in the region.
Make sure you save the date: June 11 and 12. A ticket is for the entire weekend, so visitors can see as many of the 18 locations as desired. Each guest will receive a full color graphic map of the tour with an image and information about each artist. Tickets are available at www.topangacanyongallery.com/studiotour. The Gallery will host an exhibition of one work by each participating artist two weekends prior to and during the tour, as well as a silent auction of small works May 27 – June 12.