This body of work has been developed in tandem with Cath Ferguson's PhD, which is an investigation into how paintings proceed and culminate within a Deleuzian context.
To aid the inquiry bold methods of working have been adopted and painting processes do not facilitate a planned outcome. Instead, options that offer something unfamiliar are rigorously pursued. Keen to roam aggressively out of her comfort zone and to invite catastrophe, Cath Ferguson knows that the subsequent battles to restore order and regain control are very worthwhile.
Each painting is a tightrope walk, as investigations lead step by step, in and out of difficulty. Reckless manoeuvres, require astute countermoves to retrieve the situation. A modest decision can command the attention of the whole surface and re-route the march forward. Losing balance and making ungainly moves under the strain of the task, are constant dangers.
Such cavalier initiatives provide a rich experiential understanding of processes that can make or break a painting. An approach that adopts something close to what might be called empirical ingenuity, prompts all sorts of questions about the role of logic and risk as constituent elements of the creative process.
By tapping into a whole range of previous experiences from different paintings, different conversations, different everything (schema) this work might be described as a series of independent thoughts or even visual expressions of thought and ‘being’. They can be elegant, flawed, irrational, connected, joyful, irresponsible, entertaining anything.
Paintings like ‘Babel’ ‘Marionette‘ and ‘TV’ co-operate internally to give confident, visual profiles. On occasion, paintings with a more open structure, like ‘Unruly C’ and ‘In The Back of my Mind’, give us a peep backstage. It is these paintings that share their history more generously, offering an insight into the artist’s decisions along the way. That is not to suggest that we can retrace those decisions sequentially rather that we are privy to the complexities and made conscious of the inner workings of the paintings, and can view them as something more than a presentation of certainty.
Text by Della Gooden
Cath Ferguson’s work can also be seen in a solo show in March at the John Holden Gallery, Manchester, and then in July at the Galeria Trama, Madrid.
To view papers by Cath Ferguson please go to the NEWS page.
List of works:
5. In the Back of My Mind
For more information please email: