kieran (by travis hendrix)

kieran (by travis hendrix)


Kieran Forster is an Australian artist with an interest in abstraction and portraiture.

He has painted and drawn under the pseudonym Algernon Eldritch. (see Algernon Eldritch on Facebook)…

He is an occasional blogger on the intersection of creativity, philosophy and well-being

(see www.algernoneldritch.net).

He is also a psychiatrist in private practice (see www.drkieranforster.com.au).

Kieran’s work is produced in his twin studios, one in inner city Brisbane and the other, hidden away in the Sunshine Coast hinterland hideaway surrounded by acres of beautiful forest. This produces a good balance of atmosphere that lends itself to creating a diverse range of work.

KF 2017 :

My paintings are like notes from the Unconscious, as I try to understand the experience of this sensual world.
 Being a psychiatrist, that work involves searching for the deeper narrative behind and below what my patients describe to me. Seeing it, feeling it, calling it by name and finally holding it long enough to work with the story. The same process is happening in my art practice.
Although my style has become more unbound, organic and sculptural over time, the underlying theme has always been a meditation on the felt experience of human being. The felt experience (as opposed to the analytical deconstruction of our lives) is what is both terrifying in it’s painful grandeur as well as electrifying in its promise of beauty and truth.
 Our lives are surface phenomena that suggest a deeper story and each painting seeks out the bedrock arc of a day, a week, a year as may be. Just as each session of psychotherapy seeks the resonances from the Deep of the human Unconscious. I gave up trying to completely separate my work as a psychiatrist and my work as a painter once I realised they involve a similar seeking after Depth. Truth. Presence.
The universal language of colour, figure and form coalesce into these blocks of Time called “paintings”, Time and Space apparently captured inside 4 lengths of wood and heavy layers of paint, accented with natural objects such as stones, bark and other detritus.
 Each painting has an emotional tone and a degree of conflict between chaos and order, just the same as each day provides a similar interplay of head and heart, bookended by dawn and dusk.
My technique involves “hitting” the canvas and leaving it. Hit and run. Find a place to recuperate and rehydrate as my canvases are often large and I travel through many layers over days to weeks. I wear a gas mask and sweat it out. The music is probably on the strong side.
 I collaborate with the forces of perseverance and win over the better angels of our nature : experience, inspiration, freedom of action, daring, refusal to give up on a painting. I am a veteran of many failed campaigns in which the rubbish picture becomes the underlay of a memorable success.
My technique is “Get Out of Your Own Way”…….if you have an eye for colour and form, and you can turn down the volume of your L hemisphere  conceptual mind, the painting will emerge in its own way. This is the most enjoyable part for me….the suggestion of standing aside as something makes its mark on the canvas. Whether you call it the Unconscious, Nature, Spirit or a slice of the Narrative of my patient that day , the joy of painting is standing aside and seeing what has manifested. Its the antithesis of narcissistic self-absorption.

Paintings are available for purchase through direct email contact with the artist at kieranforster@hotmail.com. Kieran also increasingly paints on commission, often after someone appreciates a piece that is already sold. Again, this involves direct email negotiation with the artist in the first instance.

Exhibitions are every few years in any event. Next exhibition: 17.11.17  at White Canvas Gallery and Interiors, 6 Byres St Newstead.

The photography reflects years of travel, searching for the spirit of places and people. The places that have been a strong influence include London, France (Paris, Normandy, Nice, Marseilles etc), Germany (Berlin, Munich), Italy (Rome, Florence, Naples, La Cinque Terra, Tuscany) , the USA (NYC, Washington DC, LA),  China (Beijing), Thailand, Cambodia (especially Siem Reap and the Angkor temple complex, Phnom Penh, the Killing Fields), Vietnam (from HCMC up to Hanoi, covering Hue etc), Japan (many mountain shrine hikes, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima),  The Pacific Islands (Vanuatu, New Caledonia, etc) and Sri Lanka (especially Galle, Sigiriya, Colombo). Australian itself has had a profound influence on both his painting and photography, especially places such as the Kimberley and Kakadu where the ancient Aboriginal presence is most evident). Photography and painting are closely related in their dependence on composition and the pursuit of the soul of things through visual means.

“Abstraction is about transmuting emotions, schemas, dreams,  moods and philosophies into colour and form…in other words, the life of the mind and the narrative of the soul on canvas. But it can never be limited to this ….it’s the music of freedom.” (Kieran Forster)

“I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

“It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.”
Albert Camus