The signature large-scale cloud forms of Ian Fisher’s paintings inherently possess a dark/light dichotomy. Few images are as universally understood across time and culture as an obsidian-clouded sky further ignited by the presence of light and promise. While clouds bring many forms of destruction, they are also necessary for essential, life-giving water. Equally understood and anticipated is the inevitable break in the clouds which heralds the welcome return of the sun. While Fisher often captures both open and cloud-filled skies in paint, it is within the obscured, clouded moments where the potentiality resides and the artist alludes to a kind of continuum or a shared sky for all of humanity. Fisher’s choice of a unifying range of deep blue and grey in his palette in this latest series, suggests a sense of vast mystery in the darkness even in the most diminutive paintings. Yet, Fisher’s exhibition title makes clear his thinking that darkness is only temporary; that light has always returned – a welcome metaphor in a world’s challenging times. Intended not only as sublime representations of what clouds actually are – formations as a result of amassed water droplets – but as well, the paintings are also an expression of the timelessness of ever-changing forms and creativity itself. Carrying equal value are the imaginative responses from both Fisher and the viewer when interpreting the artful cloudscapes as the artist deftly sets the stage for psychological investigations between the wondrous and sublime.
For Fisher, it is in the possibilities inherent in his subject, his medium and in abstraction where the artist’s interest lies – what is found in the layered mark-making of paint; the accumulated brushstrokes of the elemental and the subtle shifts in color and orientation which result in his ongoing examination of the act of painting. To each viewer of this exhibition, the cloud formations through the artist’s hand may recall a personal observation and/or the direct sense of Nature’s cyclical remarkability. For Fisher, it is also thorough evidence of his commitment and submersion into a demanding realm for a painter – one both highly subjective and nature-bound.