HOLDFAST is the culmination of a year-long Arts Council funded project. Louise Frances Smith has experimented with using local materials in her practice, focusing on seaweed, chalk and clay. Inspired by the Thanet coastline where there is an abundance of seaweed in the summer and fallen chalk from the cliffs in winter, the resulting works create a physical and conceptual link back to the landscape. 

Louise has delved deeper into her interest in using alternative materials alongside clay but also exploring the materials on their own. This process has opened up avenues of working with waste material from her own practice, residues from making and experimentation – questioning the nature of having a circular practice.

17-21 JUN
10AM – 6PM

SAT 18 JUN 2-7pm


The works in the exhibition have been developed from Louise’s material explorations and by looking closely at our natural surroundings. Examining the things that go unnoticed, like the tiny bryozoa that create intricate patterns on the fronds of seaweed, the shapes created in the cliff faces when fresh chalk is exposed to the elements, the strange remnants of chalk being gradually eroded by the sea and human traces we leave upon the landscape.

Louise gathered seaweed and chalk deposited on the shoreline from regular walks. Taking these raw materials back to the studio she combined techniques learnt from other artists alongside found recipes to create inks, slips, glazes, pressings, pigments, bioplastics, textured paper, drawings, collages and sculptural pieces. 

Through the material explorations and new works in progress on display, Louise hopes to take visitors on a journey referencing her practice of walking along Thanet coastline.