Escape Artist:

The Art of Fran Forman

In this rich and dream-like collection of photo-paintings, artist and fabulist Fran Forman offers characters, scenes and visual narratives that lure the imagination. She explores the multiple meanings of the word escape, focusing on the central idea of breaking through the normal barriers of everyday life. Many of these figures appear to be floating or rowing or sailing away, trying to leave the rest of the earth-bound world behind. Thus, the artist invites us to ask ourselves what realities exist beyond the traditional limits of gravity, linear time, and social convention.

The exquisite poems and story by writer Michelle Blake act as a guidebook to these vast imaginary worlds, suggesting voices for some of the characters and destinations for some of the journeys. All together, the book offers its own particular form of beauty, one that invites the viewer to step outside the known.

Size: 10″ x 10″ | 96 color & b/w images | 192 pp

ISBN13: 9780764347283 | Binding: hard cover

Schiffer Publishing

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Essay by Roger Watson, on the exhibition of Escape Artist: The Art of Fran Forman
Director, Henry Fox Talbot Museum,
Lacock Abbey, National Trust, England

How do you capture a dream? What are the images of the mind? Do those images represent reality? Or are they something else entirely?

Photography has been admired since its inception for its ability to record a certain kind of reality down to the minutest detail. This has been both a blessing and a curse. A painter can change the appearance of a scene or a sitter at will, but a photographer must follow the laws of physics and chemistry. But what if an artist could step outside the laws of nature and create photographs of people with wings, rose colored skies and airborne pigs?

The advent of digital imaging in the late 20th century has made this all possible. Fran Forman begins with 19th century figures and places them in fantastic landscapes to create a sort of alternative universe. The poetic narrative of Michelle Blake takes these images even further, gently pulling the viewer through this beautiful, and sometimes disconnecting, dreamscape. The result is an extraordinary journey - an open window into the fertile world of imagination.

Merging the KNOWN and the UNKNOWN:

New Work by Fran Forman

Fran Forman’s visual language is a fusion of photography and painting, merging magic realism and surrealism. While honing her incredible craftsmanship as a graphic designer, her imagination was captured by the emotive power of photography. Forman reveals life’s discrepancies between the conventional and the unknown. Her images are mythical narratives of dreams and fables, suffused with colours that transform them to a visionary plane. A latent angst seeps through unearthly calm. Recurring motifs from unknown realms break through the barriers of reality. Primordial symbols are translated into conventional awareness and incongruous juxtapositions. They are submitted to an austere sense of composition, acting as energy transformers and moulders of consciousness.

Forman’s approach is empirical, rooted in her personal experience of motherhood and selftransformation. From her late mother she inherited a trove of family photos which she uses over and over again, combining them with photographs of contemporary children or unknown children from long ago. This is her link between past and present.

Size: 7.5″ x 11″ | 27 color images | 20 pp

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Enchanted Constructions:

Photographic Collages by Fran Forman

Fran Forman is a photographic artist who uses her imagination to take flight into new realms of seeing, feeling, and experiencing created worlds. Like a great chef or a bewitching magician, she uses her considerable talents to translate sensory experiences into photographic collages that draw from memory, history, and fantasy. Her images are poetic, filled with metaphors that evoke the conflict of being rooted to the earth while yearning to be elsewhere. Forman’s photographs pull us backwards and forwards, into the past and into the subconscious, drawing out our own memories of childhood, of growing up, of desire and loss.

Each image is a journey in itself, each with a suitcase packed full of ideas and visual suggestions that allow the viewer their own expedition through color, memory, and connection. She provides us with enough space to time travel, through the past and into the future. That yin and yang of seeing is what makes her work so special.

Size: 8.5″ x 11″ | 52 color images | 32 pp

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Schiffer Publishing 2014
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