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Untitled by Francis Offman

Untitled by Francis Offman

© Courtesy the artist and Herald Street, London. Photo by Andy Keate

Offman's paintings are displayed pinned to the walls of the exhibition space without stretchers. Frequently collaged pieces extend beyond the main body of the work.

He rigorously researches the materials he uses, choosing to use sheets and pieces of material that he finds, or his friends donate to him, rather than buying canvas.

His inclusion of Coffee grounds began in 2013 when his mother brought some bags of coffee back with her after visiting Rwanda. Offman realised this was exactly what he had been missing in his work. It provided an important connection, a bridge or commonality, between his first and second home, Rwanda being an important coffee producer and Italy having a strong coffee drinking culture. The works explore the relationships between producer and consumer and ultimately colonialism.

The use of coffee slows down his practice. He uses the grounds from coffee he has personally drunk and once on the support, the grounds need the right conditions to dry, which in Bologna is during the Summer months. A work can consequently take three years to complete. Whilst some may consider his materials unorthodox, he takes comfort in the fact that the Old Masters sourced their own materials too, grinding and mixing their own pigments.