Frauke Watson


Frauke Waston

Deep down, I have always been an artist. As a watchmaker’s daughter, I had wanted to be a jeweller at one point and took evening classes with a Hamburg jeweller during school. However as a girl with the German equivalent of A-levels I had a tough time getting accepted back in the 1970s. So I set my sights higher; letting myself get dissuaded from studying fine arts instead – who hasn’t heard the eternal refrain of  “that’s not going to put bread on the table!” – going for languages instead (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and English).

Nonetheless my first love always stayed with me. I took vocational art classes at university, read extensively on art and design and was always starting a new project. I have always been a compulsive collector of random objects from streets, waste skips, fields and beaches, and I constantly try my hand at new techniques.

The translation of non-fiction has become my bread and butter. A great deal of my subject matter is related to creative arts. I enjoy the creativity of languages and the different outlook on life they can provide. I took 2 years of Arabic in the south of France, and after 6 years of studying Manx Gaelic on the Isle of Man, I am now a fluent speaker.

I spent three years in San Diego, California with my husband, a yacht captain turned helicopter manager and consultant. Our proximity to Mexico, the exuberant art of Middle and South America and my friendship with the San Diego Artist James Hubbell impacted my art very strongly. I picked up stained glass and glass painting and exhibited my work at art and craft fairs. I even gave the occasional silk painting class in a local art supply shop.

We spent the next 16 years of our life in France where our two daughters were born and raised. Much has been written about the light of the Midi and the general passion for art in the South of France. I was no exception. In France, I began to design jewellery made from wire, glass and stone and I continued my stained glass creations. I also became more engaged with the concept of recycling art, creating mini sculptures and mobiles from plastic bottles.

When we moved to the Isle of Man 7 years ago, I found the local fields and beaches a veritable treasure trove. This inspired my collection of netting tapestries, driftwood sculptures, wall ornaments and jewellery made from beach glass, stones and china chips picked up in the local fields.

My art is constantly evolving, changing with the places I go to and the people I meet. So deep down, I am a sort of cultural nomad rather than a strictly local artist.