We are delighted to present new works available exclusively online by Bobbye Fermie. 20% sales will benefit Bobbye's nominated charity, Bees & Refugees, an environmental conservation organisation which introduces natural beekeeping as a craft & therapy to refugee and local communities in the UK.
*Update 08.2.2022 We are delighted to announce that all works from have sold and we have raised £273 for Bees & Refugees. Thank you to everyone that supported Bobbye's work and her nominated charity. You can browse Bobbye's new collection of watercolour collage works here.
Bobbye Fermie (b. Amsterdam 1990) creates dreamlike watercolours in which she portrays a sense of intimate stillness and softness that she relates to her own characteristics as an introvert. She explores the intimacy of the everyday through imagined characters often in a staged domestic settings.
Bobbye completed the post-graduate ‘Drawing Year’ at the Royal Drawing School in 2015, after finishing her BA in Site Specific Art at the Royal Academy of Fine Art Antwerp in 2014. Her work has been exhibited throughout the UK and is currently held at several collections, including the Morritz-Heyman Collection, The Royal Collection and Soho House.
WG: Your works have a beautiful intimacy, tranquility, familiarity and warmth to them. How important, if at all, is an idea of solace for you or the viewer of the work.
BF: I'm glad you are finding these qualities in my work.. They are meant as a solace to me. The purpose of painting for me is to be able to create a safe space, so solace is something that I strive for. I like to think of my paintings as a setting, a home or a place created for the figure inhabiting it. Those figures I usually relate to myself, they aren’t necessarily self portraits, but often an aspect that I find. I am quite a quiet and introverted person and get overwhelmed quite easily. These paintings are a way of creating a space where that is allowed and appreciated which I sometimes find isn’t the case in our current society where often being noticeable and having a bigger voice is rewarded.
I think since the last year and half when Covid started I’ve realised how important it has been for me to give myself some space or time away from social activities and restore at home or alone. I do hope viewers of my work can find that in the paintings too.
WG: Watercolour and paper are key to your practice, can you please tell me a bit more about your connection to these materials and the qualities that you are most drawn to?
BF: I am really enjoying how watercolour enables me to create layers of translucency. There’s a softness and airiness that I relate to a fragility and vulnerability that I’m hoping to portray. I also like how direct and unforgiving watercolour is, there are only a limited number of steps and layers you can do before you start to ruin the paper, and so I can’t overthink things too much.
WG: What is your studio like? What do you listen to when you work? Do you work on one piece at a time, simultaneously on a few works or are you working towards a body of work at a given time? Please share a little insight into your working routine.
BF: I like to start my day going for a long walk, before going to the studio. It keeps me calm and I can gather thoughts and ideas. At my shared studio space in Dalston, I've tried to create a calm and home like space. I have lots of cups of tea and lots of biscuits, and I enjoy pottering about a lot.
At the moment I’m completely obsessed by Bedouine’s music, especially ‘Solitary Daugther’, it gets me in the right mindset and focus for a day at the studio. Other times I listen to an audiobook or some soft music that’s not too distracting.
I don’t know why some days work better for me than others, so it really depends on the day how I work. Sometimes I can only manage 2 or 3 hours before I get frustrated and can’t seem to make anything work, on other days I’d happily skip lunch and am able to work on multiple pieces at the same time.
I have recently discovered that is the best way to work for me, a soon as I get stuck on one painting I will just continue with the next.
My recent work has been developing quite organically and intuitively. I start out with a background with a watercolour wash, usually creating a sort of texture onto which I imagine a space and let a figure inhibit it.
I am often inspired by colours or shapes and textures I find everywhere around me, from sights on my walks to the structure of clothes, paintings. I take lots of pictures on my phone of it, it’s a good starting point for me.
WG: Can you tell us about the direction of the new works?
BF:I wanted to explore the duality between solitude and togetherness in these works. I have a need to be alone at times to recharge and feel grounded, but equally need loved ones around me. I have been searching for magic moments alone and together in everyday activities, often gentle and intimate.
WG: Could you kindly share a bit about your nominated charity and the motivation to champion them?
Although I don’t have a personal connection for championing Bees & Refugees, I really support the idea they have of introducing beekeeping as a craft and therapy to refugees and local communities in London whilst supporting the UK’s native black bee population. They help to save the bee from extinction and hope to create a new sense of belonging to refugees after a period of upheaval and dislocation.Two causes that are currently so crucial!
All works are available to buy directly online from our website. A UK delivery fee of £10 -12 will be added to UK orders and £15 - 20 to overseas orders pending on whether the work is on paper or linen. Please subscribe or contact us to gain early access. Many thanks.
For more information or early access to the works please contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org