Exhibition Showreel

Here is a small video snapshot from the exhibition that took place at East Street Arts in march 2015. Special thanks again to the Ocean Loiners who performed in the opening night and you can hear in the video.

Thanks to Blessing Oyebanji for editing this video for us.

Curioseaty showreel from Hondartza Fraga on Vimeo.


Curio•sea•ty at South Square

We are delighted that our ‘Curio-sea-ty’ exhibition will be hosted at South Square Centre, in Bradford. Preview Night, Friday 05 June, 7 – 9pm Exhibition Open, 06 June – 26 July


Curio•sea•ty Lorna Barrowclough and Hondartza Fraga In ‘Curio-sea-ty’ Lorna Barrowclough and Hondartza Fraga explore the theme of sea, and our relationships with it. Based on wide research, including visits to key maritime centres and museums, they have developed new work created both collaboratively and individually. ‘Curio-sea-ty’ is work in progress – artworks will continue to be developed, but this exhibition provides a useful point at which to present the work, share ideas, reflect on progress made and consider the next steps. More info about South Square here.

exhibition revisited

With a couple of weeks gone since the exhibition closed at East Street Arts, we wanted to share some images from the exhibition and the works. We are currently developing the exhibition and looking for opportunities to exhibit Curio•sea•ty again.

We will also be uploading the video of the shanty-singing performance by The Ocean Loiners in our opening night soon.


Hondartza Fraga
Monoprints, water-based paint on hand-made paper.

Curioseaty research collages – salt quartz, rope, salted fish
Lorna Barrowclough
Photo collage, tape and paper

Salted Netters
Lorna Barrowclough
Installation – wood, adhesive, nails, paper, varnish, bamboo, salted string, witches stones, thread

‘Salted Netters’ looks to the physical nature in which a net can be made. A reworking of a knitting tool to produce and develop a ‘netting tool’ ; a re-use and in this instance a direct sea use, for this required purpose.

The string used to make the nets has been ‘salted’ for good luck as per the salting of nets done by fishermen’s wives before their husbands went out to sea. The gathered witches/hag stones are used as both a weight and a further means of protecting the nets. The hag stone, usually found on beaches was used to protect sailors and fishermen from witchcraft, charms and spells.

Okeanos (Deepest Points)
Graphite on paper, 150 x 120 cm
Hondartza Fraga

Oceanus is a figure from Greek mythology, personifying the great river encircling the world. Originally thought to represent just the bodies of salt water known to the ancient Greeks, but as geography became more accurate, Oceanus came to signify the stranger, more unknown waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The drawing presents a map of the world’s oceans with a constant representation of the water and the coastline, with land being omitted.

Lorna Barrowclough and Hondartza Fraga
Laser cut mdf, photo collage


For what it’s worth
Lorna Barrowclough
Installation – rope, Himalayan rock salt, sea salt, mussel shells, varnish, paper, fish knives, ribbon, thread, paper garlands and string

This piece looks to visually show salt in it’s universal and unifying role of both the land and the sea – interlinking both through how it is gathered, transported, distributed and finally consumed.

A commodity which has taken it’s place as a vital tool for preserving, creating wealth and maintaining communities of people. I am fascinated by the simple quiet life that it now lives out.

Hondartza Fraga
Pencil on paper, oyster shell. Dimensions variable.

Each drawing is carefully hand-cut and fixed onto the shell. Each oyster shell is transformed into a miniature island for the characters and narratives to unfold. The drawings are based on found images of sea-shore scenes and loosely based on the stories and histories of real islands. This work is also inspired by the book Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky.

Hondartza Fraga
Pencil on paper on seashells (work-in-progress)

Anomiidae is a family of saltwater clams, marine bivalve molluscs related to scallops and oysters and know as anomiids. They are commonly known as jingle shells or saddle oysters.

Some individual shells are decorated with portraits of whalers wives based on photographs from the late 1800s. The work seeks to parallel the delicacy of the shells with the fragility of the women’s position in maritime history.

Curio•sea•ty Exhibition

Opening Night Tues 24th March from 6pm
Exhibition continues until 29th March Weds – Sun 11-5pm
(other times by appointment also)

The exhibition also includes a postcard collection of over 100 artists images and a performance by the sea-shantie singing group The Ocean Loiners on the opening night.

East Street Arts, Patrick Studios Project Space
St Mary’s Lane, Leeds, LS9 7EH

Click here to download PDF invite.

We hope you can join us. We are interested in group tours and if you are part of a particular group of people that would like a guided visit, just get in touch with us.

workshops postponed

Unfortunately we need to cancel our upcoming Curioseaty workshops, due to not having reached the minimum numbers we needed to run them. This applies to both workshops, part 2 (21st) and part 3 (28th).

We hope to be able to re-schedule for a later date.

The exhibition still goes ahead as planned, and we hope to see you at the opening night on Tuesday 24th.

Lorna & Hondartza

A Day for Curio•sea•ty – parts 2 & 3

These workshops have been postponed. Click here for more info.

Over the last few months the Curio•sea•ty team have found, played and homed various traditional technics to enable them to produce pieces of work that will be exhibited as part of the Curio•sea•ty exhibition that opens in March. Alongside the show we are running two full-day workshops where we will share some of these skills. Each workshop will include 2 or more different techniques, no previous experience is needed and all materials are provided.

The workshops are partly subsidised with a grant from Leeds Inspired (part of Leeds City Council) so we are able to offer them at only £10 per person!

Come and join us for one or both days. These are the details for each session and how to book.

Saturday 21st March, 11:00 am – 4:30pm
East Street Arts, Patrick Studios, St Marys Lane, LS9 7EH

Learn and experiment with different embossing techniques and decorating using the object fruits of the sea! The day will include learning about the following:

Paper embossing – using a variety of materials and objects
Embossing on clay – playing with different surfaces and materials to create beautiful individual clay objects
Sea shell drawings – integrating traditional drawing techniques with the humble sea shell.


Saturday 28st March, 11:00 am – 4:30pm
East Street Arts, Patrick Studios, St Marys Lane, LS9 7EH

Learn to use and make your own spool knitter, followed by learning and playing with basic grafting techniques. The day will include learning about the following:

Spool knitting – make your own spool knitter and learn how to use it!
Experimenting with your spool – trying out different yarns and strings to make your own creations
Basic grafting – learn and play with grafting on different objects


All materials will be provided and no prior experience needed. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided throughout the day, however lunch is not included. So please bring your own pack up!

Please note: This workshop is for people aged 16 and above

This event is supported by Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council.

all the maritime museums…

So now that the year has ended, I wanted to do a bit of a recap on all the museums, collections and libraries with maritime collections that I have been to over the last 12 months. Before Curio•sea•ty launched officially in June – actually, since 2013, when I was artist-in-residency in Hull, I have been interested in maritime museums not just for their contents but for themselves, their space, the atmosphere in which we experience them. It started with the whale skeletons at Hull Maritime Museum. I started taking footage of the bones, suspended from the ceiling with chains, while a projected blue light simulates the ocean reflections on the dark carpet and humpback whale song can be heard when the museum is quiet. I started thinking of museums as a second natural habitat for these bones, artificially arranged in full shape.

I have been taken footage and photographs of whale skeletons in all the other museums we have visited. But also of the different ways each museum displays their contents. Some in a very theatrical, constructed way, like the fantastic dioramas of the American Museum of Natural History. The Ocean wing has a single life-size model of a blue hanging form the ceiling, presiding the darkened room majestically, miniaturising the surrounding dioramas of oceanic life. The model at London’s Natural History Museum sadly seems a bit underwhelming after that; as it stands in a crowded room, rammed against many hanging skeletons and other animal models.

Amsterdam Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum (Amsterdam)

After over a dozen maritime museums, I feel I’ve got a reasonable idea of what I am going to find. And is I mentioned in a previous post I am particularly fascinated by the differences between research centres and public facing collections. Still, each new museum always manages to surprise me with a slightly different feeling. Some have an audio-visually immersive and high-tech (yet minimalistic) atmosphere, like the recently renovated National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. With astrolabes and other instruments floating on invisible glass cabinets in rooms that remind you more of science fiction film set than of times long gone. In others, you can think yourself walking inside a victorian cabinet of curiosities, mismatch of beautiful old wooden cabinets filled with objects in slightly discordant order. Old dollhouses and miniatures are next to fossils and harpoons, in the wonderful Whitby Museum.

Whitby Museum
Whitby Museum

Either with futuristic style or a ‘frozen in-time’ approach, each museum’s own idiosyncrasies are inseparable from the cities that hosts them. Each museum presents the particular relationship between its city/country and the sea. I think in a way, they reflect the conversations and the contradictions between the past of the objects they are home to and the ever changing ‘now’ they themselves inhabit.

Complete list of museums visited this year (with a maritime connection):
Hull Maritime Museum (UK)
Bilbao Maritime Museum (Spain)
National Maritime Museum (Netherlands)
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Whitby Museum (UK)
Rotterdam Maritime Museum (Netherlands)
Museu Marítim de Barcelona (Spain)
Mystic Seaport The Collections Research Center (USA)
Mystic Seaport The Museum of America and the Sea (USA)
American Museum of Natural History (USA)
American Folk Art Museum (USA)
New Bedford Whaling Museum and Library (USA)
Natural History Museum (London, UK)
National Maritime Museum (UK)
Cantabrian Maritime Museum (Spain)

Opening Night at pocagallery

So the first exhibition of From Sea To You/ Del Mar para Ti at pocagallery opened last night and it went very well! Thank you to all the visitors and participants, specially those who made it to the gallery last night!

here are a few shots from last night. The gallery is open today and tomorrow (5-8pm)

From Sea To You – Del Mar Para Ti

We did an open call for artists to contribute one or more images that expressed their relationship with the sea. We had an overwhelming respond with 134 artists in total! We wanted this exhibition to showcase the eclectic and kaleidoscopic relationships artists have with the sea so we are delighted to have included everyone that responded!

The first exhibition will take place at pocagallery on the 19, 20 and 21 of December. Opening night on the 19th from 7pm.

We want to send our most sincere thanks to all the artists who have contributed and shared their work. Also special thanks to art historian Lorena Benéitez who has written a piece about the relationship between man and the sea exclusively for this exhibition.

Here are all the images that will be part of the show: