I liked Fairweather the instant I set eyes on his work in the AGNSW when I arrived here in 1980. They did everything I wanted painting to do.
His work has a measure of mystery and a light all of its own, a different kind of light. It comes from experience, from a knowing. He builds his painting from the ground up, like a cathedral. I would always gravitate towards his work or come especially to see them.
And the scale is fascinating. Nothing feels confined by the small dimensions.
With all the drips and splatters, precision may not be a word that instantly comes to mind, yet precise they become, precise in the connections they spark within the image, precise in the correspondence between layers.
Notice how he edits his black calligraphic characters, how a film of white allows them to recede, to take few steps back. Films of white readjust everything throughout, form transitions, give us the greys and the spaces in between.
And it really interests me how a rich colour like red steps into the role of an open space.
In front of a painting such as this we begin to become aware of a fluid, unfixed and unfixing other structure hovering in the painting. And I can return to it endlessly, because the spaces we enter here keep readjusting as we look, never settle into one fixed form; there is no settlement, no final stop, the only thing the eye can hope for is a pause.