About the Artist
My work explores weather time and change within the landscape and coast. I am interested in painting’s ability to relate experience by drawing parallels between the action of light and weather upon my subjects and the action of colour and mark upon the canvas. The main focus of my practice is in painting and drawing and I almost always work with colour from the outset, something that goes right back to my time as a student at the Glasgow School of Art. I have always been interested in the landscape and coast and the ways they are transformed by the changing weather of each season. I am descended from generations of Scottish farmers on my mother’s side and have strong childhood memories the coastal farms they worked so my connection to such places no doubt dates from then.
I tend to return to the same locations repeatedly as I establish a relationship with the space over time by working directly from nature. Back in the studio I make spontaneous gestural works on paper, working through marks, colour and media, 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 and this in turn promotes the approach I take to a particular subject once it reaches the canvas. The traces of layers of decisions in the drawn and painted surface recall changes I see in the landscape itself, the reconfiguration of structures, shapes, colours and textures reflecting fluctuating physical forms obscured or revealed by the effects of colour and light.
Through the rhythm of work I am trying to move from the representation of something seen to the reconstruction of something felt.
John McClenaghen is represented by a number of galleries throughout the United Kingdom. Recent Exhibitions include: Four Landscape Artists, The Lemond Gallery, Glasgow, (2021), The Russell Gallery, London, Winter Exhibition (2020-21), Eion Stewart Fine Art, Stonehaven, Autumn Serenade (6 person show,2020), Nadia Waterfield Fine Art, Hampshire, Winter exhibition (2020), Solo Exhibition, The Listening Hill, The Bingley Gallery, West Yorkshire (2018). Other exhibitions include: Y Lle Celf, Visual Arts Exhibition of the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Fully Awake, Blip,Blip,Blip, Leeds, Facing North, Storey Institute Gallery Lancaster, Distance 2 Sofia, Academia Gallery, National Academy of Art, Sofia.
John studied at the Glasgow School of Art (BA Honours in Fine Art), the University of Huddersfield (PGCE), University of Liverpool and the University of Chester (MA Fine Art). He is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art in the School of Creative Arts, Glyndŵr University.
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 and to the National Association for Fine Art Education.