In conversation with Bussey Building artists Frances Hogg, Ines Ferdandez de Cordova, and Grizelda Kitching, about the perks of sharing an art studio.

Many people share studios inside Bussey Building, with groups of designers, artists and costume makers building communities within their studios. Some have been making work together for over a decade.

Artists learn and feed off their peers in organised critiques at art school, and often this act of bouncing off each other becomes a compulsory part of their creative process. Sharing a studio with peers can be the perfect way to continue this art school dynamic, long after becoming a professional artist.

Frances Hogg, Ines Ferdandez de Cordova, and Grizelda Kitching are three artists who have known each other since University, and, as of a few months ago, moved into the studio of their friend and previous Bussey resident, Guy Allen.

How do you know each other?

Frances Hogg:  We have lived in South East London for the best part of ten years now. We met during our time studying at Camberwell College of Arts, and since studying together have remained good friends. I was in another studio in Bussey along the corridor, but when I heard Ines and Griz were getting a space a few doors down, I was excited to get on board as a great admirer of both of their practices. We’ve only been in the space since September, but we are enjoying being back in a shared environment like we were in college. I feel like we still have a lot to learn about each other’s practices and are fortunate to bring very different disciplines to the table.

How does your art benefit from sharing a studio?

Grizelda Kitching:  It’s great sharing a studio but actually because of our individual work commitments we’re very rarely all in the studio at the same time! We moved in at the start of September, the weekend before Peckham Festival and our Open Studios, which was perfect timing allowing us to have the opportunity to explore everyone’s spaces and meet people. Our process and practices all differ but compliment each other as a whole in the studio. It is so beneficial having a working space alongside each other; a dedicated art work studio space is exactly what I needed. We are all really looking forward to exploring and creating new work.

Frances Hogg:  Being an artist living in London is always full of challenges, with the high rent studio spaces as well as spaces being turned into residential property. I feel very fortunate to be in a space at Bussey Building with such good friends who share a common ground. My practice is very studio-led, as I often work on the floor or directly on large canvases, so having a space to learn through making is important. Although being limited with the amount of space at times, working in a shared studio has really benefited my practice; it has helped propel me and make me more proactive with my work. Having continuous positive and constructive feedback keeps me determined in my own perspective and allows me to generate new ideas. I love it when I see new work displayed around Ines & Gris’ in the studio; it immediately helps me focus on making my work and learning new ways of approaching an idea. It also helps me broaden my practice to become more multi-disciplinary. As well as the day to day benefits of working together, sharing a studio can develop a shared public consciousness with your work, help alleviate a level of insecurity and prepare you for exhibitions. It is also great for artist references and keeping up to date with current exhibitions and open evenings.

What do you do?

Ines Fernandez de Cordova: I did a printmaking MA at Camberwell College of Arts from 2015-2017 (with Grizelda) and since then have been working as a screen-printer for Jealous Print Studios in Shoreditch, and also as Anita Klein’s printer for her reliefs and etchings. My practice has heavily revolved around the use of printmaking, largely because of the access to facilities and the works that tend to surround me daily. However I am so excited to have a studio now, especially sharing with Frances and Grizelda. It’s so important to have a space to try new things, have a play and make new work freely, as working full-time might not allow it, so this space has come at the perfect time!
I use sculptures as tools to create still-lives, constructing narratives through the use of sequence, repetition and photography. Printmaking is a fundamental part of my practice and through the use of photography I have managed to merge my primary interests in the two. Through the prints I hope details of odd compositions and unusually balanced objects come through. My practice seems to go in cycles, in the sense that it continuously loops from 2D to 3D. I tend to present prints and sculptures alongside each other, as I think the relationship between the two is important. I am now trying to break out of a heavily monochromatic practice, trying to be more flexible when it comes to including colour and mark making.

View Ines’ work on Instagram.

Frances Hogg: My paintings are heavily influenced by my upbringing in Ethiopia, Kenya and Sierra Leone, places which exude riots of turbulent colour and movement. Certain elements in my work draw directly from the local textiles and rural land. I use colour, shape, texture, figure and ground in an allusive and playful way, leaving the viewer questioning the significance between what is visible and what is hidden. More recently, I have been interested in the three-dimensionality of my paintings. Using the notion of collage, I have begun to develop my paintings into multifaceted, more sculptural works.

View Frances’ work.

Grizelda Kitching: I utilise both traditional and contemporary processes, such as screenprinting, mono print, painting and collage alongside digital form.

My practice primarily involves paper based printmaking process led work. Typically using photography to capture images as a starting point, then develop a response to the original imagery through colour and mark making. The development continues through disruption and distortion and change of scale, developing an abstract, sometimes spontaneous mark through the use of mono screen print.

View Grizelda’s website and Instagram