Fergus Collinson, 1948-2018
We met Fergus through Photospace Gallery, and last week we were shocked to learn that he had died. We found out from Facebook, as you do these days. No one is certain, but it's probable he had a stroke or heart attack, dying peacefully in his sleep. He was 69.
Fergus was a regular visitor to Photospace Gallery, even before he had an exhibition here ('Romance on the Menu', Jan-Feb 2001). Often he would respond to an exhibition with a poem. Choosing a pen from his shirt pocket pen-holder, he would write a poem on the back of a gallery catalogue sheet or on paper he carried for the purpose. The last time we both saw Fergus was at an exhibition by Glen Burrell at Potocki Paterson Gallery, late 2017, where he once again gave us a poem. A highlight was when Denise and I went to Fergus's house for the first time to purchase one of his paintings, which we still have.
Fergus was warm, inclusive, thoughtful, accepting of everyone, and never seemed to have a bad word to say about anyone. Wellington will be a lesser city without his unique presence.
Searching an old gallery hard drive, I came upon a folder of a couple-hundred photos that Fergus had taken on his first digital camera. They are mostly interior details, and should be familiar to anyone who has visited his Wilson St cottage. Here is a selection of Fergus photos..
20/1/2018 04:42:04 pm
My photograph from Fergus is of his cock with a thorny rose from his garden lying on it. I pulled this photo out on hearing of his death and have been reflecting on Fergus, sexuality, and living as one wants to. I haven’t shared this photo with anyone, but it seems to have transcended from provocative to profound. Wellington was better for him. Thank you for writing this James.
23/1/2018 08:10:33 am
Fergus painted the most endearing images. I love all his paintings that I have been lucky enough to view. These photos speak volumes about this private artist. Colour, colour, colour.RIP
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Photography Matters II