Journal: Ferris McGuinty: Thumbnail

Where are you from and where do you reside?

I was born in Devon, grew up in Somerset, and have now lived in Cornwall, UK for the last 18 years.

To what extent does precision play a part in your process?

I feel like precision is playing a larger role in my current practice. The balancing act between the notions of form, color, line, and texture creates a tension in the work which demands an element of precision. The making process can often be dynamic and chaotic. In this respect, it is more about finding an elemental parity, that feeling of “rightness”. It’s more a precision of seeing as opposed to measuring.

What is the most difficult part of the artistic process for you?

I try to eliminate the idea of “difficult” from my practice. If something isn’t working, I move on. I generally always have a number of works in progress at one time in the studio. This means if I hit a wall with any of them, I move onto the next. Quite often, the works feed themselves. I usually come back to the ones I’ve shelved with refreshed thoughts informed through the process of making other works.

How do you choose your materials?

They tend to choose me! I’ve gathered and hoarded for years! I really tend to respond best to what’s nearest me at the time.

There are many different components— architecture, painting, sculpture—at play in your works. What is your point of origin and how do all the different elements come together just so?

When I embark on my work, there is very rarely a specific reference point. I am inspired by a wide reach of visual culture that has an inevitable trickle effect into the work I make. The work hopefully resonates through a language that is common across the spectrum of architecture, painting, sculpture and design. I think that paring back to the basic principles serves to condense elements of these varying influences. What the work reflects through these connections isn’t a conscious reference, it’s more a symbiosis.

Ferris McGuinty came about in 2009, what was the reason for taking on this pseudonym?

It was while I was living in Sydney, Australia, which proved to be a very creative period for me. I was making very different work at the time. In my time out from making this work, I would encourage myself to try making things that I wouldn’t normally consider. A new way of making and an entirely new visual language soon emerged almost quite accidentally. It felt very exciting and almost quite liberating. It seemed quite a natural thing to me in attaching a pseudonym to the work. In a way, it has helped me retain a sense of detachment from the making process. I can be much more playful with the work and not so worried about what direction it goes in.