John McClenaghen's work explores the phenomena of time and change within the landscape.
"I am interested in painting’s ability to relate experience by drawing parallels between the action of weather upon the land and the action of colour and mark upon the canvas. In painting and drawing I have always taken a colourist approach informed by collage, printmaking and assemblage, something that began when I was a student at the Glasgow School of Art.
My interest in landscape has no doubt been informed by the generations of Scottish farmers that I am descended from on my mother’s side. I make work throughout the UK but I am continually drawn back to my native Scotland, Yorkshire and North Wales. I tend to return to the same places again and again as I try to establish a relationship with the space through drawing and painting it over time. Ideas often begin with me sitting in a field working directly from nature.
Back in the studio I make spontaneous gestural works in colour on paper trying to make sense of what I was experiencing on site. This stage is about working through marks, a process of recollection through making, trying to think in materials. A whole range of media often come into play as I attempt to reconstruct the experience of space and place through colour and mark. The traces of layers of decisions in the drawn and painted surface recall changes I see in the landscape itself, the reconfiguration of field structures, their shapes, colours and textures reflecting their changing physical form and those we perceive through theactions of weather.
Through the rhythm of work I am trying to move from the representation of something seen to the reconstruction of something felt."
John McClenaghen studied at the Glasgow School of Art, the University of
Huddersfield, University of Liverpool and the University of Chester. He is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art in the North Wales School of Art and Design, Glyndŵr University. He regularly exhibits throughout the U.K.and beyond. Exhibitions include: Facing North, Storey Institute Gallery Lancaster, Seeing Walls, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, Distance 2 Sofia, Academia Gallery, National Academy of Art, Sofia, Y Lle Celf, Visual Arts Exhibition of the National Eisteddfod of Wales and the Wrexham Open 2018.
He also writes about art practice with book chapters recently published by Q-Art and Black Dog, London. He has presented papers on painting at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester in 2015 and to the National Association for Fine Art Education in 2016 and 2018.