By John Forrester Clack
Main Gallery > 16 February – 29 March
Opening night | 5:30pm Friday 16 February
Exhibition Live: Artist in Conversation | 2:00pm Sunday 18 March
Join exhibiting artist John Forrester Clack in conversation about his practice and the work in his exhibition. It is a wonderful opportunity to ask questions and learn more about what drives his creativity.
John Forrester Clack’s work is mainly figurative, with a particular focus on heads, which he uses as a vehicle/agent in the exploration of drawing, painting and sculpture. These heads are free from a literal interpretation of human features, charged with a dynamic sense of emotion, presence and spiritual energy.
Over the last seven years, he has investigated the ‘act’ or ‘action’ of drawing, mark making and surface materiality. They are for him a place where he can explore the incarnation of the word Amen – ‘So Be It’. Through exploration and experimentation, he has been working to see if he could be in the ‘now’, without fear of failures of the past or doubts about the future, to express as fully as he can, body, mind, emotions and spirit through the physical act of drawing.
The inherent qualities of the medium itself take a leading role for him rather than acting simply as an expressive tool. The main materials of his drawings are charcoal, graphite, ink and acrylic. These and the quality of the paper surface combine with the delivery of the mark allowing the life force within him to attack, to change, to mark; searching for that which is new, challenging. Forrester Clack’s foremost influences are Frank Auerbach and Alberto Giacometti. For him, it’s the exploration of materiality in the practice of both these artists, where the drive, quest or wrestling with purpose is clearly evident.
About John Forrester Clack >
Excerpt from a review by Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin, Australian National University:
“Born in Wales, Forrester Clack trained at the Cardiff College of Art, then the Staffordshire Polytechnic, and completed his Master of Arts at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, but all of his training was in the applied arts, he came to painting as a self-taught artist. In his formative years in the 1980s he was drawn to the work of the formalist British, European and American abstract artists, where surface qualities and the formal properties of the medium were privileged over content. Then it all changed with the calling, God spoke to him and his whole being and artistic practice changed fundamentally. Forrester Clack’s conversion was not within the predictable boundaries of a denominational creed nor did his art follow a well established path of traditional Christian iconography, but instead it is characterised by a personal visionary quest.”
John Forrester Clack has been a practising artist for over thirty years and has exhibited in major public exhibitions. He was awarded the Kedumba Prize for Drawing and selected for the Art Gallery of NSW Dobell Drawing Prize. He has been represented by major commercial galleries, with work in collections across Australia and overseas.