My work explores the phenomena of time and change within the landscape. I am interested in painting’s ability to relate experience by drawing parallels between the action of weather upon the land and the action of colour and mark upon the canvas. The main focus of my practice is in painting and drawing, although this is greatly informed by collage, print and assemblage, something that began when I was a student at the Glasgow School of Art. My interest in field structures, the way they are transformed by changing light and colour is perhaps in some way influenced by the generations of Scottish farmers I am descended from on my mother’s side.
I tend to return to the same locations repeatedly as I establish a relationship with the space over time by working directly from nature. Back in the studio I make spontaneous gestural works on paper. This stage is about working through marks, a process of recollection through making, trying to think in materials. A whole range of media often come into play as I attempt to reconstruct the experience of space and place through colour and mark. The traces of layers of decisions in the drawn and painted surface recall changes I see in the landscape itself, the reconfiguration of field structures, their shapes, colours and textures reflecting their fluctuating physical form and those we perceive through the actions of weather. Through the rhythm of work I am trying to move from the representation of something seen to the reconstruction of something felt.
John McClenaghen studied at the Glasgow School of Art, the University of Huddersfield, University of Liverpool and the University of Chester.
March 28, 2023