Gary Powell and Andrew Foster
Andrew Foster: statement
"Faith to Faith"
exhibition at the EICH Gallery, University of Lincolnshire and Humberside
28 September to 2 November 2001
Having been brought up by a loving church of England/Methodist family, I was taught that the church, bible, God was 'truth' without question. Over the past 15 years my doubts have escalated. This body of work is about trying to begin to understand why, and what I think currently.
One to One (Triptych)
Work was inspired by the one to one mobile phone advertisements on TV. The strapline was "If I could have a one to one, who would it be with?" I thought, God, Jesus and them wanting one with me. This started the 'Faith' project. I wanted a way of working which would not get bogged down with aesthetics, mark making and religious icons. I had so many questions, some old, some new, which were killing my creativity. The visual language of 'post-it notes' suited the quick message/conversation idea and allowed me to empty my head.
Modern Day Faith
This began by breaking my childhood idea that the bible was sacred. I currently do not believe in God, so therefore the bible is a storybook, paper and ink. I was intrigued by the visual language of it, the paper, its gold edging, the type etc. I draw a tin of beans on it and it becomes an icon with religious significance. I wanted to produce an image that reflected more than just religious faith. Modern society has many, but are not discussed in this way. I was highlighting this issue, eg money, TV, football or fashion are all modern day faiths.
My Wailing Wall (Triptych)
This was inspired by a postcard sent from Jerusalem by my brother, showing hundreds of people praying towards this massive wall. They looked tiny in comparison. It also showed prayers and thoughts being placed in cracks within the wall. I wanted the scale of the artworks to recreate this scene. The content of the work represents different types of problems related to my faith.
The large head shows mental walls, some self-inflicted eg personal incidents that scar your wider view, while others are specific with what, who God/church actually is about. The open door, with brick wall behind represents physical walls. The church of England says it welcomes all, then turns its back. If the clothes are different, or attitude challenges the convention, or sexuality is alternative to the mainstream church view, you are seen as a sinner.
The small images at the centre of these large paintings are icons, pauses for thought eg GOD, praying hands, the cross and the word truth.
This image represents my belief that our thoughts are constantly in flux. We believe at times we are right. but later learn differently through new knowledge. People's conversations and circumstances re-affirm or inspire new ideas.
You have got to participate in life, although it may feel a little uncomfortable at times. If you do not, you stagnate. The flaming hoop represents this.
I have faith in education, family, friends, ego and life cycle. Each section of wallpaper focuses on one aspect. The different types of wallpaper used, reflects different periods of time eg I was born into a woodchip family home. We changed to anaglypta when we had more money. I became a student and lived in terribly furnished flats. I aspired to flat wallpaper which I could choose the colour. We are surrounded by wallpaper and often don't notice it which is similar to our belief structures.
Looking closer into the image. figures, conversations, situations appear but somehow run into each other. The idea that memory is not always accurate.
Finally the tiger is chasing its own tail. I think that you can sometimes be so busy trying to find yourself that you destroy your true self.
Prayer - Diptych
Who do we pray to'?
Inspired by my parents who taught me to pray as a child, but I never really understood who I was talking to. It was like a one sided conversation..., pointless.
Why do we pray'?
Is it a social thing, a support network, does it allow us to move beyond a problem or situation?
Prayer Mats - Mirrors (Triptych)
These are about reflection, thoughts to yourself e.g. present. key hole, brickwall.
Throughout modern time man has sought the 'truth. I wanted to visually explore different aspects of this eg How do we recognise it, label it, measure it, misinterpret it. or where do we find it?
Problem of turning the other cheek
Inspired by my Dad, who's taken everyone's problems on board throughout his life and recently had a breakdown (in my opinion through this). Having recently become a Dad has made me re-evaluate the responsibilities of being a parent. I recognise the same trait in myself. I owe it to my son and my Dad to resolve this. This is the starting point for Faith 2
Andrew Foster is an illustrator and teacher.