Paint, Rubbish, Muck.
After returning to Cornwall in the heat of the pandemic, now studio-less artist Fergus Polglase paints wherever he happens to find himself: whether in his acrylic-splattered garage, at the bottom of his garden or simply on his bedroom floor. Although based in Falmouth itself, Polglase regularly ventures out into the Cornish countryside to gather his thoughts and gain inspiration. Occasionally, he seeks solace and paints in the sun-bleached garden outhouse at his cherished family home; once two adjoining cottages owned by his Grandmother and her sister. This is where I visit him first. Upon entering you are immediately confronted by Polglase’s signature splattered canvases, hung in-between glossy 00’s surfing posters; residual artefacts from his youth, possibly kept pinned-up to satisfy his wry sense of humour. Chaotic ink drawings litter the floor like crispy leaves, crunching underfoot as he encourages me to walk over them. The tale is similarly told in other locations where Polglase tends to paint, as I discover when visiting his house in Falmouth. Clambering over paint tubes and sliding between large leaning canvases, I begin to understand the rawness of his creative process and obsessive, nay, compulsive need to paint. In the corner, and curling under the glow of the portable heater, lie screwed-up notes, poems and pencil drawings, all stained with the rings of bygone cups of tea. This – the floor – is where his paintings seem to formulate. As the canvases and pages collect the marks of the artist at work, the environment surrounding them affects it, too. Polglase’s messiness is incorporated and encouraged within his creative process, with each artwork becoming a visual archive of the moments in which they were made. In a bold statement, Polglase ditches the clean edges and carefully planned palettes in favour of something a little more exposed, revealing even.