At the End of 2016 we managed to grab a few precious minutes with Artist Alice Hartley to discuss the current importance of artists and her recent collab with fashion designer Sophie Cull-Candy. Tonight (12th January) marks the PV of her new group show at PI Artworks (55 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8EG) in London. The exhibition aptly names Strike Site runs until 25th February 2017 so make sure you go and check it out.
Describe your discipline/ I’m an artist, mostly working 2 dimensional. I use a process called mono printing, it begun from impulsive and explosive drawing and painting which I adapted to screen printing. I do this kind of experimental and instinctive painting on an uncoated surface of a silk screen and then pull through with the squeegee once, leaving the final outcome of the print open to chance and the unknown. The work occupies the space between a painting and a print, each piece being completely unique.
I use a lot of text in my work, some of which I’ve written myself, some of which I have over heard or has been said to me; I then take it out of its context and put it by its self. The words are supposed to be fairly ambiguous and taken by the view as they like.
As well as my text pieces I make a fair amount of abstract work, I try and keep the mark as honest as possible by working quickly and instinctively, mono printing is a great way of producing this kind of work.
What is your ultimate inspiration? / Tricky one.. With my abstract work most of my inspiration comes from music, a lot of minimal and neo classical music, I like where it takes me, I can’t use words so I make the mark and go with it. It’s the pace, the breathe, the repetition, the pause..
I listen to a lot of Philip Glass, Dustin O’Halloran, Steve Rich, Aphex Twin, that kind of thing.. Music is definitely a huge part of my day-to-day practice.
Also recently I’ve been thinking a lot about where my art sits, what kind of environment I see it in. I’ve been looking at pictures of Cy Twombly’s apartment in Rome in the 60’s, there’s a dual between classical sculpture, beautiful ornate antiques and his bold unapologetic modern paintings that I’m completely obsessed with, there’s a beautiful balance between the ancient and historic next to his contemporary paintings, so many layers, very considered.
Tell us about your recent collaboration with Sophie Cull Candy and what made you want to work together. / Sophie and I met through a mutual friend we both really liked what the other was doing, it was only a matter of time till we started talking about collaborating, it felt like it had to happen! I love her approach, he designs are bold and confident, its classic but with some risk which I love. She pretty much gave me free rein to print what I liked, we agreed on colour and some use of text and off I went. I think the collection turned out really well!
What do you think you have taken from the experience of working together?/ I’ve learnt a lot, how much work goes into making a collection, hats off to anybody creating their own brand, it’s a lot of work.
I think after seeing my work being adapted to a new form it has really opened my eyes to where my work could go. I loved seeing what Sophie created with it, she gave it a new energy and executed so well.
I’m definitely want to do more collaborations in the future, whether its fashion, design or fine art, I think my work can adapt to all these places.
What's next? Who would be your dream collaboration in the future?/ I’ve got some exhibitions coming up that I’m working on right now, one of which will be another big text piece, that opens at Pi Artworks London, in January.
And then some more coming up in spring. I’m also working on the next part of my collaboration with Sophie Cull Candy, we’re releasing some limited edition t-shirts and bags fairly soon so keep your eyes peeled!
Dream collab, hmmm maybe another band I love, I did the artwork for Slow Club’s new album earlier this year and that was a great project.
What is your mantra/ Your gut is correct.
Which piece of jewellery can you not live without?/ I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, just simple pieces, I’ll wear silver or gold hoops and my ‘A’ Facett initial necklace by Myia Bonner that close friend gave to me. I rarely wear bracelets and rings because of work but I love hoops, I’ve got an eye on the Eclipse Hoop earrings from Kind Collection, stunning!
Where is your favourite spot for a drink and a dance/ The Royal Oak on Columbia road, east london is a local of mine, I love it there, proper pub! I don’t go out dancing as much I used to but this year some friends of mine have been running this wicked night called Residency that takes place in the loft at L’Escargot on Greek Street, lots of disco, house and soul with a beautiful and extravagant décor and a great crowd.
What is the most thought provoking thing your saw/heard/read in the last week/ Its has to be in the light of the recent US election, I read this quote from American novelist Toni Morrison, and it was exactly what my gut said as soon as I heard the news.
“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for salience, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language that is how civilization heals.”
We need artist more than ever right now, as soon as I heard the news I got up and went straight to the studio.
What song(s) are you listening to on repeat at the moment/ I’ve had this EP by a friend of mine on repeat, it’s called Black Bunny by Theo Alexander. It’s great music to work to, I really like where it takes me, very delicate but powerful at the same time.