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Image courtesy of the artist, by Jade Florence (

19 Windows, 19 Doors is a series of works by Melbourne artist Frances Cannon. Each of the nineteen paintings represents one of the nineteen houses the artist lived in throughout her life. In this intimate collection of images, Cannon explores themes of home, culture, unsettlement, adolescent emotion, and memory. 

Brunswick Street Gallery recently caught up with the artist in order to gain some insight into her process, learn more about her childhood in Vietnam and her home now in Australia, and how these inform her every day making.

What medium(s) do you work with, and why have you chosen them?


I love paper! I have such a deep passion for paper and how powerful and beautiful and stubborn it is! So I usually work with mediums that work well on paper - like ink and watercolour.


Can you elaborate a little more on your making process — how does your artwork get from initial concept to exhibition stage?

 It usually starts out as an idea of a series I’d like to complete, and from there I just take it piece by piece. Each painting I start with an idea and then I kind of just let whatever happens happen! Sometimes I have major fails and I have to start over - but I never plan my pieces, I just let my hand and my brain and the ink and the paper do their thing! It’s really exciting.


Who or what are the biggest influences to your work?

Louise Bourgeois, Frida Kahlo, David Shrigley, Quentin Blake!


How do you keep your creative juices flowing? How do you push past creative block?

Always always draw in my sketchbook. This is where my best and worst ideas happen - it’s also how I unwind, and process thoughts and experiences! My sketchbook is a huge part of my artistic practice.


How does where you grew up, or where you live now affect your art?

I grew up in between Thailand and Australia, and whereas my style of art hasn’t been affected by where I grew up - I think the subjects I choose to make work about definitely have been affected by my life! Gotta work out all those experiences somehow so why not work it out by making art about it!



Can you tell us a little more about your creative working environment/studio?

I work in a studio that me and some friend’s started up called Pink Ember Studio! My space has two big desks where I make my work, and a lot of shelves that house whatever products I’m selling on my online store at the time. And usually my studio is pretty messy.


Who would your dream collaboration be with, and why?

I’d love to work with Lizzo! Imagine that! Maybe helping design an album cover or music video!


If you could go on an Artist’s Residency anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

I think London! I visited a little while ago and fell in love with the atmosphere and the city! And the art scene is pretty great too, a lot of my favourite artists and activists are from London!


What’s next for you after your time at Brunswick Street Gallery? What upcoming projects are you working on now?

I just released a poetry book! I’ve got another show coming up at the end of the month (Tinning Street Gallery, 28th Feb), and I’m running the Pink Ember Studio shop! TOO MANY THINGS! But super exciting!


19 Windows, 19 Doors by Frances Cannon is open at Brunswick Street Gallery until 17 February, 2019.