Fever! – Henry Turner
Henry Turner approached the body of work in Fever! ‘like a heart that operates in three spheres, or rather three chambers that pulse through one another.’ The resulting works interlace figurative work with conceptual scale and emotional depth.
The artist takes as a starting point the vast lands and horizons surrounding his residence in the Canterbury Plains. Some years ago, while recuperating from surgery, the landscape came to represent the pain of rehabilitation and withdrawal. Through these works, he says, he attempts ‘to turn the Plains from despair ground-zero to a land of milk and honey. Making sense of, and reconciling with it.’
Turner examines the landscape as filled with markers of human experience; seen here in scarred landforms and the scant remnants of plants. The texture of layered gouache paint and the contrasting golds and ochres throughout the works create flickering grasses and shifting skies. The emotional inflections are equally evocative; from anguish, to joy, to contentedness. A complex field of emotions ripples through these works – some scenes, like feelings, are settled; while others flare with colour and moments of surrealism.
In these works, Turner creates worlds that are halfway real; halfway unreal, in which we can all inhabit and share in his vision.