Born in Rochester in 1983 Fiona Eastwood studied at Camberwell College of Arts, London, 2011 – 2014. She has been selected for the Royal Academy Summer Show London 2013 and 2014, was Short-listed for the Hans Brinker Painting Prize Amsterdam 2013 and is a 2014 John Moores Painting Prize exhibitor. Her work explores the relationship between people and inter-spaces, influenced by the writings of Marc Auge on the transient space of the non-place. There is an engagement with proximity in the work. Proximity in the addressing of space within the paintings, the implied distance placed between the real world and the camera (the initial point of documentation) and the remove of the painting from the photograph, this remove providing the ‘small space of slippage …where our minds can see to freely-wonder but not obsess’ (Rodney Harder). The paintings draw on the disorientation and awkwardness to be experienced while sharing the confines of this space. An employment of 1960s filmic approaches towards framing a subject plays on proximity, the black ground is both impenetrable and void-like, illusionistic depth is disrupted constantly as the flat surface of the painting is addressed. Paint becomes its own preclusion not confined to revealing a represented image but its own presence on the surface ‘the painted mark is the thing in itself and the thing it describes’ (Altfest), the pursuit of eschewing a complete adherence to either being important to the work. ‘To remain unsure about when a representation points to a reality outside of itself and when it points back to itself. It is in this place of uncertainty that a painting finds its greatest leverage.’ (Schwabsky) The paintings are made in one sitting with oil on board, the fluidity and speed of the marks indicates a quick application indicative of the initial instantaneous and surreptitious apprehension of the image and the transient nature of the space. The motif is compressed into a series of gestures which play with presence, referencing relationships in the space and that instant of an uncomfortable glance at the anonymous other. Compression also refers to the photographic process, the mediation of the image and its existence for a short duration as a cropped thumbnail. From this stance comes a practice in which the image is rehearsed in charcoal and the same painting may be begun again and reworked 2, 3 or 4 times before the desired speed and economy of marks is achieved to create an internal ambivalence.
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