FELT, Acrylic on Roof Felt, Video, 2011 - Present
Felt is a new body of work that is a continuation of my previous work ‘A Helping Hand to Little Frogs and Periwinkles’ in which I explored ideas of thoughtography, telepathy, esp and various other fortean related phenomena. Thoughtographys most well know practitioner was the late Ted Serios who during the 1960’s claimed to be able to create images on Polaroid film using nothing but a small roll of cardboard held up to the camera, which he called ’gizmo’ and his mind (he claimed his gizmo helped him focus, debunkers often claim that he used it for concealing a miniature negative thus creating the images). Thoughtography is the ability to will an image into existence using only the mind. The modern idea of thoughtography has its origins in spiritualism of the 19th century where the idea was that spirit extras appearing on photos weren’t in fact spirits of the dead but images imprinted onto the glass negatives by the person getting their photo taken. This explained away why a lot of the imagery looked fake or like previous known photos of the deceased . Other forms of thoughtography include tulpas, spontaneous imagery, out of place animals and even ufos.
My paintings reflect this idea of thoughtography. They are chaotic, visually noisy and indistinct. Many of the sessions that Serios was observed to produce his photos were chaotic, even under scientific observation Serios would get drunk and fall about the room ( he claimed alcohol helped him again to focus, he no doubt enjoyed the endless supply of drink the scientists supplied him with).
The surface that I painted on is a rough but soft material, reflecting the often fluid but solid spirit photos of the 19th and early 20th century. There was a relationship between film and the spirit-world, material yet immaterial like the gauss like ectoplasm that spiritualist mediums often produced. The paintings are on felt, a soft but rugged surface that gives the images a kind of veil, a film through which we see, referencing the foggy, indistinct images of thoughtography, spirit, aura and kirlan photography.
Andrew Kenny graduated from the Wexford School of Art with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2008 having
previously studied for three years at the Gorey School of Art. Since graduating he has undertaken extensive research in various paranormal phenomena including spirit photography, Thoughtography, ESP, telepathy, out of body experiences etc and produced experimental works which has led to this new body of work - Felt.