Doug Henderson, the South African-born artist behind Mr Four Fingers, draws inspiration from what lies beneath: the unseen and only ever imagined. Driven by an obsession of skulls, ink, bones and gold, Mr Four Fingers explores the dark spaces between what's real and what's not.
Fragments is an exploration into murky dreams and the partial memories we have of them upon waking. Mr Four Fingers examines this fragmentation through figures or skulls that are often partially hidden or shown as a 'broken' section.
The inspiration for the collection comes from Doug's own relationship with dreams, as he explains: “I often experience dreams where I’m creating 'art', but always forget the specifics when I awake. I’ve been interested in the dream realm for a long time, specifically those that are lucid. I’ve even kept a diary of dreams experienced over a year.”
There’s a surreal, at times sinister, and oddly familiar feel that runs through Fragments, powerfully mirroring the confusing and shadowy landscapes conjured in dreams. Mr Four Fingers employs a variety of ways to achieve this effect:
“I used a combination of techniques in the collection, but the most predominant are the use of dip pen, Indian ink and gold leaf”, he says. “My favourite piece is SPECTRE, because it feels imposing and dark. This is also the largest skull I have created using a blend of techniques I'm unfamiliar with.”
Beautiful yet sinister, dark yet beguiling… Fragments is an intriguing look into the shadowy twilight between sleep and waking. Be sure not to miss this unique show at Curious Duke Gallery this May.