Fanchon Fröhlich


"Setting Sun"oil on canvas by Fanchon Fröhlich and "Collective Phenomena" oil on paper amd mixed media by Alison Appleton and Fanchon Fröhlich

Fanchon Frohlich has been collaborating with Alison Appleton in the above "Collective Phenomena" work and since initiating "Collective Phenomena" creative workshops, with many other international artists and musicians such as Jane mcCormack, Sylvie Le S'each, Kate Dadiani, Alison Appleton, Nagachoo, Nicole Bartos, composer Lawrence Ball, 'Frakture' group, etc.

Read 'Press release' - Fanchon Frohlich retrospective - Please, click here to read printable version.

Read "Neural Supernovae" by Jeremy Reed (about Fanchon Frohlich):

C O M M E N T A R Y: P E R F O R M E R S

"The Dialectic of the Unconscious and the Conscious: Fanchon Frohlich. "

"Painters working together on the same surface with a musician, Lawrence Ball, who improvises on our movements and guides them, acting together in a self-generated unity.
Let us end our fear of the unconscious creativity of others and replace it by a dialogue between different people. Let us bring to an end the arbitrary in art in favour of the rigorous and mysterious structure of the unconscious. There exists a whole unconscious to be explored. Take an example: the picture space is not one homogeneous whole but has tendencies to rise and fall, interacting with whatever is placed within it ‚ a floating and a descent in opposite directions: push and pull.
Before beginning to paint the artists choose three colours according to our deep mood or what Kandinsky called 'the Spiritual in Art' or even arbitrarily.
If we could see colours in the profound way we can hear music, there might be a question of actually perceiving counterpoint, the intertwining of lines of colours leading to chords. Ah, if we only could!
But we can actually do so by selecting those colours that we actually use ‚ not by using opaque colours. These opaque colours obliterate each other ‚ crossing out and annihilating the underlying traces whereas we want to preserve those remnants. Using only transparent colours, the traces show through so rich interferences can arise. You might see a coloured gesture intersecting with another, creating a space in which a new colour ‚ unnamed, mysterious ‚ arises in this particular coming together. The unexpected! 1000 types of black. You can hear the colour.
When improvising according to our motions, Lawrence guides us in our deep moods, sometimes enhancing, sometimes diminishing them and guides us in stalking the right time to intervene in the composition. This creates a sense of self-generation across media between music and painting. It is concrete ‚ a kind of collective osmosis.
Communal work very very quickly eliminates the personal and allows it to merge with the collective. In practice one should be aware of what the others have done as in a chess game ‚ perceiving the whole field ‚ where the desire to be competitive is excluded. It no longer consists of simply asking who has done what, but concentrating instead on what has been committed to the space and pulling unity out of that.
Why do we hold ourselves upright over the surface rather than painting in the more conventional way, upright? This seemingly trivial question provides deep insight into the resonance required. The arm, instead of being supported is stretched out in order to allow a fluid movement from the whole body. These gestures can be very fast or very slow but there are certain provisos: the resonance between what has already gone before and what is intended to follow must be maintained.
Such 'resonance' is essential, linking forms of gesture to each other, providing an underlying tentative ever-changing framework which can develop in infinite ways and even linking music with painting.
At first different types of coherence appear and can be metamorphosed during the course of the work. As it approaches completion, an analysis, a reconsideration, a collective decision may be arrived at, or there might be too many possibilities arising each demanding its own continuation. Then discussions arise ‚ ä."maybe it should be done this way", or else "ä.there would be more unity if it went that way". We might even paint in the air to suggest the tentative outcome. Or one might say 'then do it' and the free dialogue returns. Thus collective decision might determine which possibility is chosen. It is, of course, possible that the sought-for unity will appear in an unexpected way, giving a harmonious feeling, but it also possible that it will not, leaving it free to another attempt.
Collective creation has to do with spontaneity that comes from the unconscious and this may be succeeded by a critical attitude. This is the dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious.
Choosing the name: 'Collective Phenomena' was borrowed from my own paper, Collective Phenomena, written from a scientific viewpoint. The original Collective Phenomena was concerned with possible and actual developments in a scientific context. Because these movements seemed to have a wider source, it was extended to include "Collective Phenomena" (not only a wider concept of art but even relations between people as collective phenomena).
What is gained and what lost by entering into the 'Collective Phenomena' experience? Does entering into the collective unconscious of another person give a wider access? Yes, but this venturing is not a permanent transformation. It is rather a temporary coming together ‚ a merging, an illumination and then a letting go. It is an event that can be repeated by different people at different times‚ an event of mutual self-generation. We invite you in."
© Fanchon Frohlich, Liverpool 2000 (Extract from:

Read more about Fanchon Fröhlich and see more examples of her work and writings on the following websites:



Next to: Fanchon Frohlich as guest artist


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