Felice Hodges 16 September 2023 - 11 October 2023

'Under the Skylight'

Felice is an abstract artist, whose primary interest is the use of colour in painting. Having spent much of my early life and university years in New York, my background familiarised me with the ‘colour field’ paintings of Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, Ellsworth Kelly and others.

The artist explains: "My fascination with how colour can make the viewer feel, combines with my interest in drawing and collage in which pieces of paper are placed above, or secreted below,multi-layers of paint, so that only their outlines are revealed. Some of the textures also incorporate hessian and sand, whilst the mark-making consists largely of charcoal, Indian inks, chalky pigments and oil pastels. These gestural notations are often nonfigurative, although there are also references to everyday, domestic objects such as chairs, tabletops and vases.. 

My drawings are intentionally ambiguous, and I aim to encourage interpretation and engagement with the work in a very personal way. Indeed, there is deliberately little in the way of narrative, so that the viewer can engage with a painting with a fresh and open mind. This creative interaction between the artist and an observer is something I always strive for ... to be able to stimulate what, I hope, leads to a fruitful ‘conversation’.

This body of recent work encompasses themes which I have explored for many years. Recurrent motifs of interior objects, such as vessels, appear to float on ‘fields’ of modulated colours, often appearing in rhythmic sways which recall my deep interest in music. 

In other paintings, as their titles suggest, the colours alone encapsulate the mood of a place or the memory of a moment of time. ‘Congo Pink and Magenta’, for example, refers purely through colour to the heat and exoticism of Africa … a reminiscence pared down to narrow bands in a combination of ‘hot’ tones.

In ‘Mexico I’ and ‘Divide by Rust’, the earthy shades of yellow ochre, sienna and reddish brown recall the heat and baked dust of the region, though the former painting highlights vessel shapes too, showcasing the artefacts of this ancient civilisation. I love the challenges of invention, of experimentation with novel colour combinations and notations."  Felice Hodges

Painting illustrated: Ritual | mixed media on canvas | 100 x 100 cm

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