‘SOUNDINGS' - Sondages
Seamus Heaney, my close friend once noted on my method of working, as ‘walking round and round a space’. This is the process I go through daily, walking around the work in circles, with the work flat on the table marking or plotting changes, adding and erasing. Employing a multitude of material in my work, namely ‘stone dust’ reflecting my interest in wall surfaces, new and ancient.
I approach the work, viewing it from all angles, watching paint change intensity and colour as it soaks into and dries on the linen. This unknown part of the process can create ‘happy’ incidents, or problems to resolve, beyond my immediate control, creating a freedom within the work.
Immersed in a world of soft squares and wobbly circles, plotted arbitrarily as the stars appear to be, working on a way to make these incongruous icons and fragments blend but never completely. The tension created is part of the process, a blend of the harmonious and the discordant, a reflection of my life and experience.
A personal landscape, remembered or imagined, a far away place unknown yet somehow familiar. An invented random geometry, I attempt to connect ‘bits and pieces’ that don’t quite match or add-up. In many ways, a reflection of the chaotic world we live in, trying to make a sense of it all through the language of painting. Not in conflict, but in dialogue with the canvas, attempting to create calm from chaos.
More recently I have drawn from Celtic Carvings in Ireland from 3,500 BC, these ancient carvings link us with the Mediterranean, ties with northern France, Spain and the Algarve, eastward to the Mesopotamian empire, Babylon, the Moorish influence. I have travelled extensively in these areas over the years. These have slowly insinuated themselves into the work, on a personal, invented basis. Building on the foundations of a world, continuing through our cross-cultural heritage and identity into today’s world.
Felim Egan Dublin 2016