Jan Murphy Gallery is pleased to present ‘Emotions Abstracted’ by Fred Fowler, his third solo exhibition with the gallery. Fowler notes, “After spending several years deciphering and creating images related to the outside world, the impetus for this body of work was to go in the opposite direction. To take away all references and symbols to the exterior world and instead turn inwards. Much like closing your eyes and meditating on an object or the breath, these paintings function in a similar way.”
The concept for this body of work was taken from Robert Plutchik’s ‘wheel of emotions’ where he suggests eight primary bipolar emotional states: joy / sadness; anger / fear; trust / disgust; surprise / anticipation. Additionally, this circumplex model makes connections between the idea of an emotion circle and a colour wheel. Like colours, primary emotions can be expressed at different intensities and can mix with one another to form different emotions.
Each painting in the exhibition ‘utilises one primary, secondary or tertiary colour (or emotion) as its base. Layered on top are opposing or harmonious colours, shapes, symbols and textures. I wanted to create resplendent tableaux that explore the idea of emotions primarily through using colour and creating dynamic compositions that are both peaceful and potent at the same time.’
“The mood my paintings create – and possibly the reason why people respond to them, is because they somehow express something real, even though they look dreamy and odd. I try to convey through pigments, the same emotional response that you have when listening to a favourite song or watching a film you love.” Fred Fowler, 2022
Fred Fowler graduated with a Masters of Contemporary Art from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2012. In recent years he has been awarded the TWIG regional art residency in Swan Hill, Victoria, the Sculptors in Schools Residency for the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, Victoria and the Artist in Residence in Clayarch Gimhae Museum, South Korea. He has created murals and public artworks in Sydney, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Lyon and New York. His work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, City of Melbourne and private collections in Australia and overseas.
Image: Fred Fowler, ‘Untitled 2’, 2022, synthetic polymer paint and mica flakes on wood panel, 90.0 x 80 cm