ALICE HARTLEY

Hampshire / London

‘I predominantly work with the silkscreen to make large scale mono prints, as well as a lot of painting and drawing. My work tends to focus on the politics of everyday life, the politics of the self, those unsaid moments that are always recognisable.

A lot of the work previously has predominately used text, usually my own words or phrases gleaned from conversation. When taken out of their original context the spirit of the sentence adjusts itself to the viewer. These pieces are usually site specific and selected for a particular purpose, to voice something that we find hard to say, or should say more often. More recently I’ve been focusing on the form, using to mark to make a physical build up, recently I’ve focused on the line used to create boundaries, some of the lines very real for some, some invisible for others..

The work is made very much in the moment, it is very immediate, it’s a physical build up, the ink is painted onto the silk screen and then pulled through once with the squeegee, the outcome is something between a painting and a print. It is almost like a reverse painting because the first marks you make are will sit on top of the piece, the last marks will form the background, you can create great depth and be bold with the marks whilst keeping this super flat screen printed finish.

The physical aspect of my practice is very important; it is evident in the gesture of the mark and I often find it to be the release of tension within the piece.’


Could you explain your process of image making?

My images always begin with writing and drawing in my sketchbook, it is always quick, intuitive and expressive, the purpose of my images are often to express something un said or from meditative place, it’s quite hard to talk about. The mark is always expressive and impulsive, true to my own nature.

What qualities do your monoprints contain that might differ in editions?

When you tend to use a lot more ink in mono printing, the screen is fuller therefore your result is something more heavy and intense. It’s also the process, you can plan bits of the mono print but it’s incredible sporadic, you’ve got to go with the flow of it, which is the opposite of editions where it’s all about preparation and being methodical. There’s something in monoprint which captures the essence of that moment, it’s very present.


What is the importance of colour in your work?

Colour is very important, its intuitive, its symbolic, most of my colour represents something from the land or of the body. I always been quite natural with colour, I just spend a lot of time mixing colours, I learnt a lot about mixing inks at the RCA. I tend to just have a standard pallet that I’ve used for a while and then I’ll twist things from there. Lots of flesh tones, lots of warm greys, loads of different blues, a super bright red and a burnt orange are my staples.

Where do your influences for pieces come and what ideas are you trying communicate?

My work tends to focus on the politics of everyday life, the politics of the self, those unsaid moments that are always recognizable. A lot of the work previously has predominately used text, usually my own words or phrases gleaned from conversation. When taken out of their original context the spirit of the sentence adjusts itself to the viewer. Its finding beauty in those quieter moments, something that’s shared but unspoken. More recently I’ve been focusing on the form, using the mark to make a physical build up, as well as looking into lines used to create boundaries, some very real for some, some invisible for others..

Why do you choose print as a medium over painting?

Within the particular way I work I paint directly onto the screen – combining two practices I love into something that I feel is unique to my work. It’s completely lead by instinct, from when I make the mark on the screen to the moment it’s lifted to reveal the fresh print beneath it. I feel having the barrier of the screen between me and the artwork allows for the incidental or unknown flourish, removing from me any conscious overthought in my line making – it’s all very fluid and intuitive. Over the years I’ve gained a lot more control and understanding of how the mono print may turn out but there is still always an element of surprise, some bad but most of the time its great even if it’s not what I was initially going for. The other thing I love about silk screen mono’s is it picks up all these amazing marks from the brush, you can load a lot of ink on, or be light and have a more delicate result but you’ll always have this silky flat finish from pulling the ink through the mesh.


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