Mia Fernandes

Gallery (Crossing Borders exhibition) & Artist Biography

Mia Fernandes

Mia Fernandes (b. 1971) lives amongst 400 species of butterflies in the Midi-Pyrenees. Working in the garden, she captures her companion residents in an ongoing series on paper. Considering the region’s historical significance with ancient cave drawings, it is apt that the artist has implemented basic artist materials for the studies: pastel, watercolour and pencil.

She has an ongoing interest in memory as being fundamental to the experience of life, and is fascinated by artistic expressions of memory. Take for example her ceramic mugs that display scribbled text and deep impressions that have clearly been left from hands that clutched the vessels; the words are from a time gone by, with both the text and finger impressions remaining for observers new and old to experience. How do these marks influence the viewer, and how do the memories change over time? 

Mia trained at the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths College and Winchester School of Art and has been working internationally as an artist making and drawing in clay and on paper and has also made performances and video.  Her Goanese background informs her work and her experience abroad is defined in the work.  She has been greatly influenced by the awarded Arts Council and Triangle Trust China Fellowship, as International Guest Artist for the Philadelphia Clay Studio, Fellowship to Peru, Tasara Residency in India, and as artist in residence at the British School of Brussels.  These awards have assisted in forming the work that centres on displacement and memory.

As an artist educator Mia has been involved in the development of art education since 1993.  As a lecturer for various institutions, she has also instigated projects such as ‘Mark of Action’ and DIY ‘Circles of Memory’ as well as a curator of exhibitions that focus on drawing, making and memory. She continues to progress with events that explore these ideas.

Her works are in collections in the USA, China, Australia and Europe.

2009-2011: MPhil/PhD Memory and Matter Royal College of Art,
1996-1998: MA Ceramics & Glass Royal College of Art, London;
1990-1993: BA (Hons) Ceramics & Textiles Goldsmiths College of London University;
1989-1990: National Diploma in Art & Design Winchester School of Art.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2011: Removal of Obstacles, Ganapati Restraunt, London;
2003: Eat Me, Manze’s Pie Shop, Deptford X;
Smile, Caspar Dunstan, London;
2001: Eclectic, St Mary’s Church, Southampton;
1999: Mia Fernandes, British School of Brussels, Belgium;
1997: Beasts, The Gantry, Southampton;
Display Case, Museum of Mankind, British Museum, London;
Mia Fernandes, Touring Show: Hampshire Museum Galleries;
1996: Far Away, Forest Arts Gallery, New Milton;
1995: Preserved, The Gantry, Southampton;
1994: Gallinaceous, The Gantry, Southampton & Ashcroft Art Centre.

Selected Group Exhibitions:
2013: Crossing Borders, Susan Mumford art projects + consultancy, Oxford American’s South on Main, Arkansas, USA, August;
2012: Distilled Memory, Susan Mumford art projects + consultancy, Pop-up Exhibition at the Framers Gallery, London;
2011: Manfold Drawing Exhibition, Royal College of Art, London;
2010: Research Exhibition, Royal College of Art, London;
Protected Characteristics, Courtyard Galleries;
Objects of Love, Lewisham Arthouse, London;
Draw, Royal College of Art, London;
Bedizzened, APT Gallery, London;
Summer Exhibition, Mumford Fine Art, London;
Summer Exhibition, Vitrine Gallery, London;
2009: Rummage, Bermondsey Café Gallery, London;
Matters of the Heart, Lewisham Arthouse, London;
2008: Twilight, Bermondsey Café Gallery, London;
Mark of Action, Drawing Gallery Lewisham;
2007: Sugar in my tea, Brockley Max, London;
Meme, Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey, London;
2006: Shibboleth, Dilston Grove, Bermondsey, London;
Banthum Open, Banthum, Devon;
Made at the Clay Studio, Philadelphia Clay Studio, USA;
2005: Archive & m&M, Lewisham Arthouse, London;
2004: Winter Print, London Print Studio;
Annual Open, Bermondsey Café Gallery, London;
Presence, Houseroom Contemporary Art, Bath;
Under 5’s, Gallery 39, London;
Draw_draw, Gallery 32, London Biennale;
Shuttlecock, Loft Gallery, Kunming, China,  Arts Council & Triangle Trust;
Auction Rainforest Foundation, Royal College of Music, London;
2003: LAB’03 Artist Book ‘SMILE’, ICA, London;
Big Draw, Natural History Museum, London;
Off the Plinth, House Gallery Camberwell Arts Week;
Fragility, Lewisham Arthouse, London;
2002: Water Gallery, Chelsea Flower Show, London;
Palimpsest/Palindrome, Lewisham Arthouse, London;
2001: Animal, Artsway, Sway, New Forest;
Deptford X, Lewisham Arthouse, London;
2000: Big Draw, Lewisham Arthouse, London;
Animals, Hampshire Sculpture Trust, Winchester;
1999: Urban Romantics, Bargate, Southampton;
Not Just Pots, Touring Show: Hampshire Museum Galleries;
1998: Paper & Clay, Workplace Art Gallery, London;
Cheltenham Drawing Open, Touring Show: Cheltenham, Berlin & Hull;
Clay Creatures, Red Gallery, Hampshire;
1997: Blue, Designers Guild, London;
1996: Absolute Secret, Royal College of Art, London;
Fabulous Beasts, Hampshire Sculpture Trust, Havant;
1995: Arcadia, Sherbourne House, Southampton;
Annual Open,Manchester Academy of Fine Arts.

Commissions & Public Collections:
Installation of Wish (2005), an installation piece comprising of 1,000 porcelain birds, in the Permanent Collection of The Royal London Hospital (Barts and the London NHS Trust). Project managed by Vital Arts;
Ceramic wall mural, Kendra School, New Cross, London;
Ceramic wall and garden sculpture, Bermondsey Park, Southwark Council;
2007: Research for the blue line, Travel from Quito to Cusco, South America;
Movement & Memory, Bermondsey Café Gallery, London;
2004: Artist designed drawing activity, Big Draw Tate Modern, London;
2000: Evolution of all Creatures Great & Small, Public Art Denbigh Mews, Portobello;
Sculpture commission and workshop, English Nature, Winchester Hill;
1998-99: Artist workshop & Commission, Walled Garden, Basingstoke & Deane Council;
1995: Ceramic Installation Commission, NCH Action for Children, Abergele.

2006: Jacob Mendelson Award for Kiss Me, Jacob Mendelson Scholarship Trust;
2005: New York Drawing Centre, Slide Index;
Drawing: Response to Environment, Kingston University, London;
2004: Made in China, Resonance FM;
1998: Drawing Award, Cheltenham Drawing Open.

Residencies and Fellowships:
2006: Artist in Residence, Lewisham Hospital, London;
2005: Guest Artist in Residence, Philadelphia Clay Studio, USA;
2004: Artist Fellowship Arts Council & Triangle Trust, Loft Gallery, Kunming, China;
Salon Reading of ‘Smile’, Louise Bourgeois;
2000: Artist in Residence, Tasara, Kerala, India;
1998-99: Artist in Residence, The British School of Brussels, Belgium;
1998: Sponsor, Royal Worcester: A-Z Endangered Animals.
1994-95: Artist in Residence, Howell’s School, Denbigh, Clwyd;
1994: Sculptor in Residence, Burseldon Brickwork’s Hants Preservation Trust.

Publications and Press:
2008: 500 Ceramic Sculpture, Lark Books, USA;
Deptford X in Deptford X Catalogue;
London Mark of Action in Newshopper, February 13;
2007: Shibboleth Catalogue, Counter-Print;
2005-06: Arriving at Indigo Artist Book, Arts Council England;
2004: Shuttlecock in Kunming News, June 2nd;
2003: Smile Artist Book, Counter-Print;
Mia Fernandes, http://www.spiralmuse.org, May and June Feature;
All Fired up and Original in Ceramic Review, July;
All Fired up and Original  in Metro, July 17th;
Off the Plinth in Ceramic Review, July/ August;
1999: Not Just Pots in Hampshire Chronicle, June 15;
Not Just Pots in Ceramic Review, September;
1998: Studio Practice in The Artist, November;
1997: Mia Fernandes in Hampshire Chronicle, October 24.