Green Man from the Forest, c.1970
Farrington paints bird men, fairgrounds and circuses and has depicted the grimmer aspects of farming, having worked as a cowman. In 1984, he produced paintings for Granada Television’s The Ebony Tower, based on John Fowles’ novel. His painting process is all important, and involves the combination of form, colour and texture built up through the process of applying different glazed surfaces.
The Green Man of John Farrington’s art, who lives not far from Shropshire Clun Festival, bears little resemblance to the jolly modern day figure pitted against the Ice Queen in mock seasonal skirmish. He joins bird catchers, deermen, and green knights decapitating men and beasts, at times violent and proud huntsmen, at times a fearful, fleeing spirit. For him, the green is transformative, cyclical, unpausing, unshifting, forever eluding definition.
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