MLitt Fine Art Practice School of Fine Art

Beth Farmer

Portrait of Beth Farmer

(b. 1977, Oxford, United Kingdom) lives and works in Glasgow. Curiosity drives her practice, exploring the human experience of artmaking and how the immersion of body and mind into that process can have healing benefits. Beth seeks to find meaning through self-exploration and by making playful connections between the mediums with which she works.

Beth will graduate from MLitt Fine Art Practice specialising in print media. In parallel to her studies, Beth is co-founding director of therapeutic arts organisation the Glasgow Initiative of Facilitation & Therapy (GIFT). As Creative Facilitator, she supports group work in therapeutic and community settings.

Combining movement, sound and gestural mark-making, Beth creates visceral imagery that reveals the unconscious flow of energy in the making process. Every mark she makes is a trace of her body, reflecting the impermanent nature of the human body’s sensations and emotions. Simultaneously she permanently records individual moments in time and makes the invisible visible.

Beth often seeks to push boundaries in the making process. During the MLitt course, she made an etching by dancing directly onto the steel plate. She disseminated her somatic response to music using her feet via a series of marks. Building on this, Beth designed a process that displaces carborundum grit with vibrations created by music to create collagraph plates. The grit particles formed patterns fixed on the plates with layers of varnish, which Beth printed as a series of etchings.

Soaring Like an Eagle
Portrait of Beth Farmer

Soaring Like an Eagle

This immersive collection of work began as the record of a personal journey of healing through print, movement and sound. It shines a light on the complexity of the healing process and suggests the embodied residue of trauma. The exhibit aims to celebrate the print studio environment as a joyous and nurturing space, which can provide a container for printmaking, connecting and reflecting. It seeks to change the narrative of printmaking by inviting the audience to join the magical journey.

The central work, made within the space, presents the scientific structure of cortisol, which the body produces during its fight or flight response. A series of gestures of self-healing have been loosely drawn through a silk screen to form subsequent layers of the print. These gestures, drawn in the artist’s autographic style and screen-printed, are displayed on the walls of the space. The soundscape features field recordings from the print studio and Kilbride Bay. It evolves from the chaotic print studio environment to a dream-like aural space, where the outdoor natural world permeates the inside.