The exhibition starts with Fergus Hare’s awe-inspiring installation of 20 or so charcoal drawings of the Moon and other cosmic phenomena. The Moon also often features in the small jewel-like nocturnal landscapes (deceptively traditional-looking oil paintings) that follow, but it shares the sky with dramatic clouds. The next set of paintings reveal an equal interest in contemporary mechanisms of space observation and travel: satellite dishes set against the sky at different times of day; rockets and space shuttles blasting out fire and smoke on launching. Finally, Snowdonia is the focus of the latest paintings in oil and larger works in watercolour. The mountains compete with the sky and the elements in these works of watery sublimity.
Fergus Hare is an enthusiastic observer of the cosmos and the earthly sky but this enthusiasm is matched by a serious dedication to the craft of transmitting his vision (literal and artistic) to paper, board or canvas. Whilst the small nocturnal paintings recall the rural idyllic scenes of Samuel Palmer and the depictions of clouds have forerunners in the cloud studies of John Constable, his ambition is not to imitate these artists, and others that he admires, but to use them as bench marks of the quality of work to which he aspires. He loves to be and paint out in the landscape but allows himself the artistic licence to alter the work as the day progresses and make adjustments later in the studio. The painting is not, as it were, a snapshot in time and space, but an accumulation of observation, impression and decision making.
Fergus Hare was born in 1977 and graduated from Norwich School of Art in 1999. He trained in illustration but used this opportunity to create projects that were relevant to the type of work he wanted to be making, namely figurative and landscape painting and drawing. As he told Dr Alexandra Loske: ‘After I left college I spent a while painting portraits and figurative subjects using models from my studio but increasingly became intent on focusing my time painting landscapes… Since moving to Sussex from London in 2010 I spend much more time working outside. I like the spontaneity I achieve, a freshness that sometimes I lose working in the studio, and the experience of being in the surroundings is unbeatable. However, I’m beginning to discover the benefits of working in the studio in order to create more finished and accomplished work.’
Since graduation he has exhibited regularly in London, Sussex and Kent, most recently with New Art Projects, London with whom we have collaborated to present this show.
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These images are a selection of the works available at the Gallery Please contact the gallery for further information.
North House GalleryThe Walls, Manningtree, EssexCO11 1AShttps://northhousegallery.co.uk/art-exhibition/artist/fergus-hare/cosmic-matters/Index.asp