Fergus Channon explores the rhythms of the inevitable passing of time, observing the incremental changes that often go unnoticed and unappreciated. Through working in series, he brings the viewer’s eye to the variable amongst the constant. His interest in materiality and process-led painting allows him to discover new painting techniques, the playful methodology determining the aesthetic of the image. In his latest works he manipulates the traditions of painting through the innovative application of distemper to canvas creating a ‘living’ gradational image which evolves through time.
Having lived and worked in Moscow for 7 years, these distemper paintings were created in response to seeing how liberal, worldly friends, Ukrainian and Russian, were now oppressed, frightened, and trapped. Opposing the idea of painting as a document to capture a moment in time, the work documents the uncontrollable passing of time through the process of aging, the cracks creating a gradational image.
These paintings manipulate the fragile nature of distemper which gradually fractures under the tension created by the compositional parameters he applies. Once he relinquishes his role as painter, a process is set in motion that is no longer within his control; the painting follows its own course, its future uncertain.
The overwhelming weight bearing down upon us all is represented compositionally, the curve pushing down towards an immovable horizon that protects the territory below. The space between is compressed with no escape.