Fiona Denning’s methodology consists of scratching and mark-making, developing textural qualities by building up layers and then revealing or highlighting elements of what might be beneath. The work embodies nuance and suggestion rather than blatancy.
Fiona works as an archaeologist does, revealing strata and objects within, little by little, much like unearthing fossils, burials and things lost. Sometimes her work has wire projecting from the surface – this not only cuts through the surface into what is behind but also projects beyond the surface. The wire acts as a conduit for what is hidden beneath. In essence, it is a metaphor for growth, the wire represents the relationship between past and future, and in this way it suggests a vital dynamic and the potential to draw on aspects of the self, considered lost or buried. Facets now present are available as a personal resource.
Fiona carries through the same symbols and elements through many paintings, and in many ways is repeating the same painting, rearranging the elements to draw out particular nuances. In this way she develops series or multiples. There are recurrent motifs that she works through – both in the sense of working through to the other side and in working through as carriers or vehicles of meaning. She senses that there is a lot of work to do, but still only feels she is at the beginning. Everything that has gone before leads up to now.