Ferha Farooqui
Artist Image on Item View
Ferha Farooqui
Detail of East Ham in time, acrylic glaze on wood panel, 40 x 60cm

"My work is informed by life in Newham where I have lived, almost continuously, since 1969 and attempts to reflect its changing character and mood," says Ferha, who has a fine art degree in painting and art history from Winchester School of Arts. "For many years I’ve recorded the borough's disappearing landmarks and shifting communities through a series of multi-layered, what I call, 'timescapes'. The blue buildings depicted are the public spaces, which no longer exist (i.e pubs, shops, churches and civic buildings) and likewise, the blue figures are past residents who once walked these same streets. The latter mingle amongst current populations with individuals or small groups engaged in their own distinct activity." Ferha's work attempts to explore the current anxieties and pressures on community bonds with Newham as a microcosm of wider changes and transformations taking place in society and world culture, including the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. The borough contains many aspects associated with both deprivation (i.e poverty, drugs, homelessness), but also crucially many examples of positive community activism i.e food banks, health campaigns, Covid-19 support groups and many other forms of activity and altruism, reflecting the community’s response to the current challenging environment. The compositions are based on extensive drawings and images of the area and considerable research using national/local photographic archives. The work is influenced by the figuration and compositional style of the Masters of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting (including the genre paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder) characterized by attention to detail, aerial perspective, vivid colour, and an intentional technique drawn from utilising multiple layers of transparent glaze to offer luminous colour.

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