Artist Finbar Ward answers our questions ahead of the close of his exhibition IN ABSENCE

We were able to catch a few words with artist Finbar Ward ahead of his exhibition closing at FOLD gallery this Saturday.

Finbar Ward, courtesy Fold gallery

Can you tell us about your work and the main ideas you try to express?
In my work I try to argue the case for painting as a subject in itself, and by doing so hope to explore the potential for painting as a working material for sculpture. My concerns are increasingly directed toward producing a painterly language that really demands the presence of the viewer. An integral part of what I hope to do is find solutions to elongate the pace at which the work is viewed.

2. How do you decide what your next artwork/project will be and how do you know when it is finished?
The evolution of each work is always closely tied to the mistakes or failures in those that came before it. It is quite an insular and introverted process. These factors initially dictate the terms of a work but after that it is always a cultivation of intuition, albeit within a preconceived framework with regards to motif or scale.

3. How has it been working with FOLD on IN ABSENCE?
Working with FOLD this time around felt particularly exciting for me. It’s the first opportunity I’ve had in London to have the space to myself, but also it’s a new space (for me at least). The quality of the gallery actually shaped a lot of the thinking around the ‘design’ of the show and the fundamental qualities of how the work would take shape. The length and narrowness of the room poses a real challenge so with In absence I wanted to play with that instead of try and fight it.

4. IN ABSENCE marks a change/development for your process of work, why have you decided to plan/make work in a much more systematic way?
In many ways this systematic approach has always been there, but In Absence has been the first project where the idea has come into fruition through quite a rigid process executed over a long period of time. In previous work creative decisions and alterations were inevitable, essential even, and the moment in which it would approach completion was unforeseen. Here though, I had over 300 linen supports to make and paint over a three month period and that was that.

5. What’s next for you?
I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to show at the British Embassy in Paris in conjunction with FIAC 2016 and I’m currently working towards my solo show in Antwerp opening in September with Geukens & De Vil.

Finbar’s current exhibition IN ABSENCE closes this Saturday (7th May 2016) at FOLD gallery www.foldgallery.com

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About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, a curation of the world’s most interesting culture, and Creative Director of FAD Agency, a digital creative agency: www.fad.agency