Stephen Ferris is a Calgary-based artist. He is completely self-taught and did not begin his creative journey until the age of 27. His work shares with the viewer a peek into his imaginative, other-worldly perspectives and allows them to dive into his inter-dimensional thought, soul, and spirit. His style is highly complex in design and detail and is completely improvised, allowing for the psychological, free-flowing of ideas, as the painting organically evolves and builds on itself. His artistic process plays with discordant, figure-ground relationships and stripped-down rhythmic abstractions of raw, geometric shapes, patterns and forms. His artwork is non-objective and highlights the many components that make up the infernal-machine of his psyche. This can be engaged and viewed endlessly on a micro and macro level; up close, the viewer can get lost in minute details and intricate patterns. From far away, the viewer will see how all of the chaos comes together to create a macrocosm. The artist prefers that the viewer form their own visual experience and conclusions without the bias of what it means to him, personally. This allows each piece to be felt and experienced based on the viewer’s own, personal, imaginative process allowing for “pareidolia” to play out, creating endless interpretations and emotional responses. He has exhibited extensively in Alberta and US, with his most recent showings at MIRUS-Gallery/US and a solo exhibition at Harcourt House/ Edmonton.
“This is a horizontal version of an acrylic and aerosol painting that I recently did. I documented the original painting step-by-step, creating a cheat sheet for myself to print off and use as a reference to re-create the image, horizontally and on a larger scale. I created 4 variations of this design on each side of the barriers. I painted the barrier tops and ends black, to allow the viewer a place to rest their eyes; this also makes the image pop out.”
Photos © 2021 Chelsea Yang-Smith