Born in Colombo Sri Lanka, Canadian artist Frances Ferdinands is based in Toronto. She holds a B.F.A.from York University, an A.R.C.T. (Piano) from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and an Education Degree from University of Toronto.
Ferdinands has exhibited her work for 4 decades, in such far afield locales as New York, Lon- don, Paris, Bogota and Honolulu, and across the USA and Canada.
Within Canada she has had numerous exhibitions at commercial and Public Galleries, and her paintings are held in Private, Museum and Corporate collections.
She is the recipient of many Arts Council grants and her paintings are featured in two Artbooks: “Rethinking Acrylic” and “Acrylic Innovation” (Northlight Books, 2008, 2010) as well as in periodicals, “The Purposeful Mayonnaise” Vol 1 Issue 5 (2022) and “The Woven Tale Press” (Vol.8, Issue 3, 2020)
In 2015 and 2017 Ferdinands (under an ARTS Grant) returned to her homeland to be mentored in the traditional arts and crafts of temple painting, bobbin lace making, and mask making that are culturally at risk. This experience served to enrich Ferdinands’ understanding of her Sri Lankan heritage and her sense of place within it.
The experience also spawned new work including the “Atomizer” collection - a series of 10 works which the Royal Ontario Museum purchased.
She was commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mint to design the 2017 “Diwali" and the 2019 “Multi-Cultural” commemorative solid gold coin. In 2019 she traveled to Spain and Morocco to visit important Islamic sites and was awarded a Chalmers Fellowship to travel to London England to study Islamic Patterning. The knowledge gained further expands her focus on exploring visual cultural differences, belief systems and cross-cultural fertilization. In 2020 she had a Solo Exhibition at the Noble Sage Gallery in London England.
York University (Visual Art)
Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto (Classical Piano)