Painting Figures / by Philip Kenchington

Figures 29 - Charcoal and graphite on paper, 68x96cm. 2014

Painting the figure is always a challenge and these most recent are quite a deviation from my normal figures. I have always been interested more in the gesture than the facial likeness of a person. I think gesture... the leaning of the body, the holding of the head, the shoulders, how a person holds their arms even, can tell us so much. My figures are usually “agender”- figures that have neither male nor female characteristics. This latest series however are not so ambiguous, gender and even facial expression have become evident.


They are about human tensions, about waiting, about total powerlessness. Some people think they’re rather intimidating, and I can see that but they evince a truth.