Catherine Ferguson

Salome: Diagram 1, 2017. Acrylic on Gesso Panel. 40cm x 30cm


Salome: Diagram 1


The decision to make a painting is already to work within a certain tradition. Material choices must be made but a painting begins with a motivation somewhere else in the imagination, within the context of an on-going practice but also within the context of a life lived.

How does admiration work itself into one’s own painting?

What does it mean to make painting in direct relation to the work of someone else?

Between 1609-10 Caravaggio painted a scene with four characters that belong to a Biblical narrative (Salome Receives the Head of John the Baptist) and the painting now hangs in the National Gallery.

At home I have painted numerous watercolours of this painting from a postcard. Perhaps, I have become familiar with the painting ‘by heart’ and now the painting lives within me. In the studio I have made new paintings which don’t share the same image. These studio paintings repeat and explore some of the rhythms and sensations I have discovered by making copies in one medium through yet another change of materials. 



Catherine Ferguson is an artist and writer based in London. She is a lecturer in Fine Art at University of Leeds and a visiting tutor at Chelsea College of Art and Design. She completed a Fine Art PhD Deleuze and the Art of “Surface Effects” in 2007. Recent research includes exhibitions at APT Gallery, London (solo) (2017), Zillah Bell Gallery, Thirsk (2017), Berloni Gallery, London (2015), Pulchri Gallery, The Hague (2014), curatorial projects ‘Straddle the Line’ at APT Gallery, London (2014), publications ‘The Façade and the Picture Plane’, Journal of Contemporary Painting (2017) and catalogue essay (‘Hidden (Cache)’ in Pages (Wild Pansy Press, 2014).


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