Felix Bode is working to reconcile two contradictory notions: the ephemeral and fluid nature of time and the intensity of individual thought and feeling. His paintings depict vast scenes that are detached from the feeling he attributes to them, emphasizing the fleeting nature of images in the contemporary world. It is through the process of painting that he connects scenery and inner emotion.

My practice melds the mediums of oil painting and printmaking and is characterised by an interplay between spontaneity and precision. Using photography is not an end in itself, but rather a source of inspiration, providing reference material. In the words of Gerhard Richter painting “shows something that isn’t there”, process that is not possible through photography alone.

I am inspired by the blankness of images when travelling, lost in thought, and the post-industrial landscapes that pass the window at high speed. The images I paint are blank stares, gazing into the distance – similar to the feeling of travelling home and being consumed by thoughts or feelings. The detachment of ones inner consciousness and ones surroundings intrigues me.

I am particularly drawn to vehicles that propel us through this ever-shifting world – trams, trains, cars, planes – symbols of societal progress. Just looking at the massive changes that these vehicles have endured through the years is an experience strong enough to open a discussion on how their representation has changed.

My studio practice is responding to the fastness of the photographic sources. I prefer to use a trial-and-error based approach than a slow build-up of my work. I am responding to the saturation and prolificacy of images in contemporary society. I cover the surface in thick oil paint and wipe away using solvents and various self-made tools to uncover the bright ground colour. In this manner, the paintings themselves become ‘almost abstractions’ of the images I take, which is inspired by the paintings of Carol Rhodes. Through editing, projecting, painting, wiping away, and repainting, the images changes and holds a trace of what was originally seen.

I like to look at this process as if it would be the specific moment when an image in my head slips away as I try to remember it. I am interested in the properties of the images and their very particular transitory status in the contemporary world. The ever-changing mental representation of an image from memory is an element of significant importance in my practice. In the end, each painting is usually adjacent to someone I have met or is present in my life. Their presence continues in the act of painting, and the image can be influenced by thoughts from a different time or space”.

Felix graduated with a BA (Hons) Painting & Printmaking from the Glasgow School of Art. We’re delighted to be featuring Felix’s work in our 2024 Breakouts show – our renowned annual showcase of the best talent coming out of the Scottish Art Schools.