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Elbow Joint Study

Matthew Ferguson

Watercolour on watercolour paper

My artistic practice combines traditional realism painting with digital media and explores themes of materiality and the relationship between form and function through paralleling the organic elements of corporeal subjects with human-made materials.

Stemming from an injury to my dominant hand that caused me to consider and investigate the machine-like qualities of the body, my practice focuses on creating mechanical/synthetic versions of my subjects in order to reference the fact that all people are made of the same fundamental components and possess the same basic needs.

Within my practice, I reference anatomical diagrams/schematic drawings to build 3D models of my subjects in order to experiment with the formal elements prior to painting; I digitally project these models onto 2D surfaces and paint them in acrylic/watercolour with an emphasis on realistic texture and dramatic lighting.

Drawing upon contemporary digital artists such as Oliver Marinkoski and Antoni Tudisco, as well as classical Renaissance and Baroque styles, I create a sense of depth, movement, and physical space through the use of vibrant colours and contrasting tonality.

I am currently exploring this process/body of work through a Concept to Realization project grant funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, which will culminate in my first solo exhibition at Spare Room Gallery in Barrie, ON, in May 2024.

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