Born in Scarborough, England
Lives and works in Southend-on-Sea
Influenced by the work of Tai Shani, who works across many disciplines and referencing her DC Semiramis series, Fern Worsley refuses to be categorised as just a painter, with an inherent impulsion to have many facets to her practice. Shani’s impact can also be detected in Worsley’s nascent investigations into feminism and femininity and what it means to be a woman in the art world. Sexuality and sensuality are becoming relevant to her work and how the space can operate around her to evoke emotion. This has led to an interest in curation, using a feminist and intersectional lens, which may be reflected in future work.
Preferring to work on a large scale, exploring the possibilities of limitless mediums, including paint, oil-stick, charcoal and inks with gestural mark-making and colour used to express form, movement, sound, and emotion. These works can translate into plaster sculpture and often the paintings themselves become the sculpture, pushing the boundaries of what a painting is traditionally perceived to be. This process is integral to her practice to exhaust the line of investigation with the subject. Worsley’s art is more about the process than the outcome, experimenting with the properties of the medium and surface it is reacting to. Acting intuitively, embracing ‘accidents’ and relishing the unpredictable nature of art. Influences include Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler and Frank Bowling for their bold use of colour, scale and gusto with which they approach painting.
Collaboration is key to pushing her work further; the inter-subjectivity that occurs when working with someone else, augments possibilities and ideas into different realms. The notion of relinquishing some control over her work is an enriching and exciting prospect. That is perhaps why she has become interested with the audience’s role within art; response and participation not only indicate the efficacy of a work, but also becomes part of the work itself. Therefore, the participants are also collaborators and their contribution offer more opportunities for dialogue. Research into the theory of Relational Aesthetics by Nicholas Bourriaud has informed her current practice, analyzing the space within which her work exists, both in the studio and in an exhibition space and how it can be used to accentuate the work with installation and performance and in turn how that relates to the audience.