Kevin Foley: My Everyday

Kevin Foley savours the wonders of the world before our very eyes.

1 September 2022
In Exhibitions,
Printmaking, Q&A

From top:

The tinny, 2022, etching & aquatint, 42 x 49 cm

Moonrise, Mia Mia, 2021, etching & aquatint, 54 x 58 cm

The gleaners, 2022, etching & aquatint, 44 x 51 cm

Beyond the saplings, 2022, etching & aquatint, 45 x 73 cm

Lookout, 2021, multi-plate etching and aquatint, 38 x 73 cm

Q: What were some of the foundation ideas for this exhibition project?

A: The works are a continuation of what my work is constantly about, observations in my daily life of my relationship to the landscape. I aim to capture the reality and raw beauty of the Central Victorian landscape in which I am based. The work is always literal in its depictions, but behind its imagery and specific ties to my surrounds it conveys something a little more abstract: the soul and energy of the Australian landscape and the lives lived upon it. The spirit of the environment does not require much digging to access, we just have to take a moment to look and observe.

Q: How did the artwork selection take place?

A: I wanted to select a cross-section of motifs that are usually in my work, the mood and seasons of the landscape and the animals and birds that inhabit that space. I chose from works that I had been developing over the past eighteen months.

Q: How does the exhibition manifest – what do visitors experience?

A: I don’t like to talk a lot about my work, I prefer the visitor or viewer to just look at my prints and let them take something from them. A sentence I have always found that works for me is “as you see it, so it is”.

Q: What are some of the key works and what subject matter do they deal with?

A: I think Lookout, the tinny and Moonrise Mia Mia are three particular works that I am especially happy with. Each suggests a mood or moment in my everyday that are contemplative. The moment the moon lifts above the tree line in the east, a still moment of rural activity with the sheep being guarded by the Alpaca and soft light over the dam in the early morning. Some of the themes in these works will resonate with particular viewers but might offer a glimpse into areas that are unfamiliar to others.

Q: What is it about the printmaking experience that you most appreciate?

A: The technical process of working the plates gives me the most satisfaction. The variety of ways you can interpret your designs into the final print through line, aquatint, scraping and burnishing never fail to excite and enthuse. I have been working with this technique for more than forty years and haven’t deviated from the original method of zinc plates and Nitric acid that I learned from Daniel Moynihan in the 1970s. Danny was an inspirational educator whose generosity in imparting his knowledge of the medium taught me not only the process but also of how to share and teach others.

My Everyday is at Tacit Galleries until 10 September www.tacitart.com.au

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