Jonathan Foerster’s search for freedom

The abstract colourscapes of Jonathan Foerster are nothing if not intense. Tangled and brooding, they have a visceral quality. 

For him, abstract art is about freedom, “the ability to give a face to feelings and experiences everyone has, but without too much definition – just enough that eye and brain outline the messages”.

Although on the surface his images, which he works on for anything up to a year, seem to consist entirely of sweeping colours and forms, look a little closer and his pieces evoke the human body – tangles of colour seem like muscles, while tendrils spider outwards, recalling blood vessels and branching bronchi in the lungs. 

The effect has been a subconscious process, he says. “I have become partial to natural design and design in organic materials, and it has become more apparent with each piece,” he explains. “At this point I’m not sure what is being conveyed, or whether I’m just trying to tie my work closer to our familiar bodies. It may be the realisation that I myself am tied so closely to my pieces.”

He adds that his work is not as abstract as it first appears. “I’ve hidden or displayed skulls in my work since 2007. I put a lot of things I just plain adore into my work – birds, bats, different animals, flowers, female figures, trees – not only to give the pieces a footing in this world, but
also because these elements tie to myself as well.”