'STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, FEEL' Affordable Art Fair with Artist Alice Irwin
Platform Projects section featured 5 exciting artists, with immersive stand-out works and installations. For the first time, the Affordable Art Fair Battersea appointed an external curator for the Platform Projects. Becca Pelly-Fry, Head Curator at arts hub Elephant West, invited 5 artists from differing disciplines. Works by the contributing artists were themed around the ideas of place, memory, and how we relate to our environment.
'STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, FEEL' Interview with Alice Irwin
Alice Irwin is a London based artist specialising in painting, etching and prints. Latest works explore themes of identity and anthropology, with abstract and figurative qualities. Previously awarded for her playful and thought provoking subtext, Irwin’s work is a very sincere portrayal of childhood experiences.
“I like to convey the innocence of children but also express the message of human identity. I look at different memories, social skills, imagination and psychological trauma felt in sites of activity and social interaction.” Alice Irwin
AF: What’s the focus of your practice, and the medium/scale you work in?
I have many focuses in my practice, I like to convey the innocence of children but also express the message of human identity. I look at different memories, social skills, imagination and psychological trauma felt in sites of activity and social interaction. I want some aspects of my work to be playful, naive and comical, whilst others to be more thought provoking. My work offers sensual contrasts; parts feel tactile, whilst others create kinetic experiences in the mind. There are visual contrasts designed to stimulate different kinds of memory, and recurring motifs that may take different forms and generate different emotions. For example, the three fingered motif may appear as a balloon or something darker. Another simple form, the robotic figure, references the human condition as well as modern technology. My visual language repeats and hides through repetition playing on your imagination and subconscious.
The new sculptures playfully references of tree-houses and the game of snakes and ladders. Irwin’s work evokes nostalgia, innocent and a desire to communicate and play.
My main medium is screen-print and etching, but I also push print into 3D sculptures. A lot of my work comes from a print perspective, pushing the boundaries of art and craft. It both conceals and reveals through layering and drawing to become like a game of hide and seek. I like to layer things too, but I like how the print process works. Some of the layers and work are quite simple with strong contrasts, and some are more complex. I like how, the more time you spend looking, the more you find. It’s also a bit of a game of Where’s Wally: “Let’s try and find the hand!” There’s a lot of thinking behind my work but it is also a game. I like to use old techniques with a modern feel, whilst also exploring digital advances. I like the scale of my work to be big and small in order to explore my ideas.
AF: Tell us about your project for AAF Battersea?
My project for AAF was an installation built up of many bodies of work. The combination of sculpture and print played on the visitors eye, as you walked into an eye catching adventure. The playground is an important space and an integral theme in my practice, and I wanted to bring this into my booth. I wanted it to be a place where different memories, social skills, imagination and activity is interacted. Amongst the fair, I wanted my booth to be a step into something different, playing on the idea of a fair booth to bring out the playful aspect of my work.
AF: Whats next? Any upcoming projects?
I am a very prolific maker and am always thinking about what is next. I am already thinking of what's next and trying to push forward. Once I finish a show or project, I get back into the studio and continue making work. I am currently working on a new body of work called 'Need good- Kinda Same’.
I have a few projects coming up, including a couple of shows in April. One of them is a collaborative group show at Jealous Gallery London and another is a small solo show in South London.