A connective element in the work of printmaker Fiona Fouhy is the appreciation of the everyday, the overlooked and the mundane, a validation of the unnoticed or unseen. Time is also a significant feature: the speed or painstaking slowness in making a piece; the unravelling of time through still images; the continuity of nature’s cycles and ultimately the accumulation of stories over the years.
The processes of mark-making and direct involvement with materials are crucial. It is process-led, setting up components to allow for chance occurrences: a fabric might pick up ink in a particular way or drawing-ink might spread and dry in an unpredictable form, specific to the medium’s characteristics. This then feeds into the concept of a piece.
Her recent works have been intentionally ‘not knowing’ what will be produced when she starts making. She has been working without pre-conceived or censored ideas, hence the need for speed and freshness in her approach. The flexibility of working free-hand with fast, direct actions of pushing, scraping and wiping the ink has enabled internal responses to the sea and skyscapes of Thanet to manifest in these external gestures.
Her intention is to convey the joy of mark-making, to bring attention to details in the periphery of our gaze and to encourage the sensation of being swept up in the wider story of nature.
Fiona Fouhy lives and works in Dalston, East London, UK, and is part of the East London Printmakers Studio community.
She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins (London) and History of Art at the University of Manchester and has visited Thanet regularly since she was a child.