Rowan Fotheringham
visual artist Rowan Fotheringham
visual artist







My work is sourced from my observations of my surroundings. Using marks, drawn or painted, I comment on where I am and my preoccupations at the time.


Coming from a photographic background I am intrigued by light and the way it creates moods and reveals the form of things. Framing a scene as I have done through the viewfinder is an ingrained process. The obvious advantage of capturing all detail in the flattened image that a photograph provides is quite different, however, to continually relating to the subject through observation while painting. The eye and mind flicker across the scene registering areas of importance and emotional response that are then either magnified or downplayed. Peripheral vision, changing light, smell and sound can all feed into the image. I have also recently become much more aware of and intrigued by the negative spaces between things and the points where the contours of objects meet the edge of the frame.


In contrast to the smooth polish of the digital image I am interested in the materiality of drawing and painting and how colour and texture can evoke a powerful emotional response.


Subject matter for me in painting has ranged from the Working Waterfront of Balmain to exploring Sydney Harbour and Pittwater under sail.


By way of contrast I have just completed a series entitled Metaphysica that explores more introspective concerns. In this work I am referencing Henri Matisse’s fascination with windows and how they provide an interface between an exterior and interior world. Windows can also act in a photographic sense as viewfinders on the world, giving an edited, framed, slice of life aspect to our perception. Giorgio Morandi’s meditative still life paintings of bottles are also a strong influence.


My recent drawing has been focused on integrating figure and landscape motifs. The figures have arisen out of sculptures I made in 2013 based again on Henri Matisse’s work, but this time, his painting Bathers by the River. I am searching for a synthesis of these figures with drawings of tree and branch shapes commenced at Hill End earlier in 2014 that I have since developed in the studio.


I see my blog on this new web site as a way of connecting with a wider world and also as a way of reflecting on and sharing my process.

November 2014


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