1 BLOG, 2 ARTISTS AND A WORLD OF IDEAS
Alana’s manipulated fabric pieces formally stem from the repetition of simple motions or marks until complex surfaces are created. The pieces isolate a seductive sculptural language that seeks to rest between something 3-dimensional, yet is simultaneously flat almost painterly. Constructed of hand-sewn lining fabric, these artworks are reminiscent of coffin lining, chocolate boxes, and visceral entrails of the body. The pieces give import to that which is normally hidden away, both literally as in the above references and as a metaphor for the “soul”.
As a child Alana was constantly told by her mother, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. The artist believes her mother was referring to her playmates, but took this further into her tiny constructed fantasy worlds, some in shoe boxes, others as small as walnut shells. As a child the artist’s fascination with all things miniature was mirrored by her feelings of being safe and happy in these introspective “interiors”.
Alana feels that society today is becoming more and more obsessed with outer appearances; and as she feels no longer able to stay in her own tiny private world, she has constructed large scale pieces that leave the realm of object and become an environment for the viewer, sharing the quiet interior places she has always found solace in.
West’s practice evolves from a response to the psychology of space and colour, utilising the two in a way that is deeply rooted in colour theory and draws parallels with the concept of synesthesia. Working on a scale and intensity that impacts upon the gallery space, West is deeply influenced by the process of collecting. Her work specifically relates to the desire to gather and assemble objects making subtle or intriguing forms matched by a painter’s sensibility in the use of colour and light.
West sources her materials directly from the modern world. Referencing consumer culture and drawing her subject matter from domestic environments, she makes use of everyday materials; plastic objects, recycled detritus, pound shop ephemera, second-hand furniture, both found and fabricated. She transforms these elements into new sculptural forms, giving them an alternative function.
Her installations are usually site-specific, using existing architecture as inspiration. West’s palette is the range of hue available in the products of industrial manufacture, theatrically illuminated and intensified by the strength of artificial light. Emitting a coloured glow (often exaggerated by the use of hidden mirrors), through artifice and illusion a visual experience is created. West builds sensory environments that are discoverable by the viewer, sometimes only by a chance encounter.
West allows herself to work liberally and outside the confines of a single medium or dimension. Her installations reinvent the space into a dramatic interaction of colours, shapes and forms, challenging the viewer’s perceptions and creating an elaborate, otherworldly experience.