This charcoal drawing depicts a speckled and folded moth. Soft textures are rendered on both the scales of the wings and on the stalk of a resting plant. The wormwood shark is a moth that flies at night and eats honeysuckle, sweet William and thistles. In this composition, the artist explores the wide spaces created by darkness and the moths seeming extension into the long stems. Mollett has used both willow charcoal and charcoal pencil to create varied shades and detail. The artist’s drawings are the initial source of her paintings. The act of drawing is where Mollett pays full attention to what’s happening in her composition and begins imagining how the painting will unfold.
Mollett's work frequently features forms that verge on being recognizable—thresholds that open and then fold in on themselves as the material body dissolves and structures liquefy. The artist's works often depict an absorbing encounter with a non-human being. Mollett researches their mythology, geology and biology, which often become metaphors that inform aspects of each painting’s layers. In each composition, Mollett looks carefully at how motion and direction in each area react and relate to one another. By questioning what’s needed for the essence to remain, each work opens up new possibilities for an image. The resulting shifting passages portray a version of consciousness that alternates between continuous flow and sudden thoughts—a fragmented interior space full of collages of memory and anticipation for the future.
Francesca Mollett’s paintings explore intimate exchanges between human presences and other bodies found in nature such as water, stones, plants and the weather. The artist uses abstraction as a method for interpreting surfaces—employing acrylic and oil on calico to reinvent the inside of a sacred well, for example. Mollett’s paintings dissolve bodies and liquefy structures to simultaneously deconstruct and expand the viewer’s knowledge of their surroundings.