Vivienne Ferguson

Sentients 2011
acrylic on canvas
152 x 168cm

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Brief biography

Vivienne Ferguson was born in 1962, and lives and works on the Central Coast in New South Wales. She began her art career in Sydney, where she trained at East Sydney Technical College until 1988. She has been an exhibiting artist since 1987, during which time she has had more than 19 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions both here and overseas. Her work is represented in many public and private collections. She has had paintings hung in the Wynne Prize, the Salon Des Refuses and The Year in Art.

About the works

Vivienne Ferguson's abstract paintings focus on mark making and its individualism. They explore sparsity and denseness, looseness and rigour. She deliberately omits all inessential elements, her work, at times, consisting of only the slightest dabs of pigment on bare gessoed white fields. These floating marks are unique, and vary at times from the directness of a calligraphic symbol to faded stains.

The marks appear in varying weight, colour, size and shape, and culminate in resolved and refined pictures that resemble phenomena of the real world. In Greenland, 2006, and Lithic, 2006, the marks are derived from landforms found in the drought-ridden Australian bush. Lithic is a reaction to the hard rock and bare earth of the landscape, and the slight brown patch in Greenland that emerges from the centre of the painting refers to the fading lushness of the uncultivated bush while retaining a remnant of green. Both Greenland and Lithic are characterised by an open spatiality and the calligraphic mark. Black brushstrokes hover and rest amid swatches of soft blocks of colour.

The movement of Ferguson's brush recalls the grid and her paintings express the body's boundedness within certain environmental parameters. These paintings are significant artworks because they encapsulate a universal human content with ease and beauty, in a form that declares its origin in the present moment. Ferguson gives new life to abstract painting as a means to the spiritual in art.

Works in the Allens collection

Sentients 2011
acrylic on canvas, 152 x 168cm

Lithic 2006
acrlyic on canvas, 151 x 212cm

Greenland 2006
acrylic on canvas, 122 x 152cm