Fergus Feehily, a Dublin born artist now based in Berlin, works with an acute sensibility. His work is aesthetically pleasing with its tactile material, muted pallet and satisfying quietness. However these are fragile pieces with an intimate anxiety surrounding them; a deepness and a darkness that have more to say past the pleasantries of appearance. His titles are thoughtfully askew; take the strange ‘birdsong’(2011) seen last year at his solo show in Stuart Shave/Modern Art, with its distinct grey void and cold, still centre. The colour is pushed to the edge, the bright trill second to this downward force of grey. There is a feeling that something has or is being forgotten.
Feehily seems to be tackling memory with much of his work. There are moments in which situations and place seem to creep through. ‘The Interior World’ has the warn living room feel; the curl of the wallpaper that you seem to notice as you try to hold eye contact; that feeling of not really concentrating – these are the moments of clarity. It’s this that really works within Feehily’s world, these small moments that are escalated and picked over. They form something quite human which is unusual considering how closed the work can also feel. The works give little in form of narrative even though they seem to be trying to explain a story. This is the midpoint that the work balances on; it’s the tipping point of imagination to truth and at the centre the fragility of ideas.
Last year Zero-G published a limited edition pamphlet by Feehily. ‘Into the Garden’ features text by Rebecca O’Dwyer as well as some incredibly well chosen coloured paper. As an object, with it’s plain discerning front cover but colourful inards, it is successful at transcribing the joy of Feehily’s work. The pages crinkle until the centre essay is found, the written word within texture and sound. Again here there is this idea of adventuring into a darkness of thought through these textural aesthetics; I guess there is a freedom the artist finds here.
Fergus Feehily’s Current/upcoming shows-
Into the Light: The Arts Council – 60 Years of Supporting the Arts
Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin
28 November 2012 – 24 February 2013
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
2 February 2013 – 30 June 2013
mother’s tankstation, Dublin
5 june – 13 july 2013
Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & the Francis Bacon Studio
BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts, Brussels
27 February 2013 – 19 May 2013
Cover Image – ‘The Interior World’ (2011) – oil and acrylic on mdf and card, ink, cloth, screws 30 x 24.5 x 1.1 cm Courtesy the artist
Other Images –
‘Birdsong’ (2011) – gouache and acrylic on paper, found frame 32 x 24 x 1.3 cm Courtesy the artist
‘Dovetail’ (2011) – wood, cloth, panel pins 30 x 22.4 x 0.8 cm Courtesy the artist
‘Picture’ (2011) – acrylic on MDF, foil, found wood, screws 25 x 20 x 1.7 cm Courtesy the artist