"My Felt paintings developed from my interest in a variety of paranormal phenomena such as thoughtography, telepathy, telekinises and various other fortean related phenomena. The main objective is to investigate ideas relating to apparent spirit phenomena and compare those with instances of artificially created poltergeist phenomena.
Thoughtography, also referred to as Nensha, psychic photography or thought photography, is the apparent ability to will images into existence using only the mind. This idea has its roots in 19th century spirit photography where spirit extras which were appearing on photos were not in fact spirits of the dead but images imprinted onto the glass negatives by the sitter getting their photo taken. This explained (conveniently) why a lot of the imagery looked fake or like previous known photos of the deceased.
The idea for the Felt paintings came from Ted Serios, Masuaki Kiyota and Margaret Flemming, three people who claim to be able to produce thoughtographs. Ted Serios became famous in the 60's for producing images on Polaroid film by concentrating on the camera with an image in his head. Masuaki Kiyota a Japenese psychic was also able to achieve this by only looking at the film which was still wrapped in its protective packaging and Margaret Flemming was a well known medium who would use just photographic paper in the dark room and some say they would change over time.
The work asks questions about these images and how they are formed. This also carries on my interest of my earlier work which explored the relationship between spirit phenomena and technology, particularly image based technology and how they both influenced each others development throughout history.
The surface that I paint on is green mineral roof felt. It is a rough but soft material, reflecting the visual hazy thoughtographic portraits by medium Margaret Fleming , Ted Serios and the fluid but solid photos of 19th century spirit photography. The portraits painted on the felt emerge out gradually from the surface much like a processing Polaroid film. A lot of the times Serios attempted to produce images he would only end up with 'selfies' as the camera was pointed at him. These self portraits were to me, as interesting as the urban landmarks that defines his thoughtographs and was the reason why I chose to create portraits on the Felt. Despite its origins this series has become its own body of work and will continue to be developed and expanded upon.
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 2011 he has undertaken solo shows nationwide and has been awarded national and international residencies. During this time he has done 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 body of work - Felt."