Alicia Quigley is an artist whose artistic practice feels like an ode to the collectively formed space. We as individuals revive spaces, yet “spaces revive us humans”. We are fragments in a mosaic that has existed for generations of people.
Her work aims to combine what is already there and reclaim it in a playful and mysterious way. In exploring public spaces and urban structures, she naturally engages with the circumstances that surround us and incorporates them into her process. Her unique methods enable her to immerse herself in different dimensions of reality, next to the material world and its history. The Irish artist demonstrates how the combination of different organisms can eventually be seen as one whole piece.
Alicia’s journey of creative expression
“I would’ve always been creating as a child.“ Alicia spent most of her teenage years painting and dancing. Later she decided to study landscape architecture. This would “reawaken her creativity“ in a different way. She developed an interest in urban arts like graffiti and street art and rediscovered the joy of creating. “So many things are artforms. People dont always notice them as that.“ Alicia herself perceives her journey of dancing and studying architecture quite differently today. “I see the connection now and how valuable it’s been to me.“ After college the artist moved to Vancouver, educated herself in art supplies and got envolved in the art scene.
Canvas is everywhere
One of the things that impresses me most about Alicia is her ability to recognize a special character in seemingly boring found objects. In Vancouver, she gained access to old wood scraps and began incorporating them into her art practice. “I love this old found material, with different scrapes and scratches, different markings made from another work. This inspired me – and I kind of kept that way of thinking about working ever since then, I’d say.” Since we have a treasure called Spermüll in Germany, it’s always possible to find random bits and pieces when strolling through the cities. Alicia collects items like old fabric. It will offer inspiration and a sort of individual frame for the particular piece. Each piece usually has a story that is reflected in interesting stains or marks. This is why Alicia’s starting point is rarely a blank canvas.
Alicia begins by drawing on wood. She will paint over and use different techniques of layering, with paint or chalk coal for example. Later she sands to reveal some of the texture of the wood underneath again. The artist builds on top again and continues this process until she is satisfied with the result. Mostly she ends with the style of a very raw finished look. Alicia finds her ideas by taking inspiration from the world around her. Focusing on “how people are contributing to a space“ and how years and years of graphiti and old advertisments layer up all over buildings. The artist sees them as “visual voices“, capable of creating an entire work on their own.
images by PILOTENKUECHE or supplied by artist
Her practice often takes her into the realm of figurative work where she developed a focus in surrealist elements. Whatever she illustrates evokes an emotion with a tone of dark uncertainty. This feeling is underlined by familiar details in a sphere that looks other worldly. “I like that fever dream feeling,” she says.
Here in Leipzig, Alicia is working with posters she finds on the street. Whilst manipulating them into post-poster paper objects, she is cognisant of the sculptural elements that are emerging from this material study. Her interest lays in different organisms working together, creating the urban structure that we know today. Being concerned with the interplay of nature and people, she explores how both of them reclaim spaces in their own way. Different textures of paper, like peeling and dissolving, can be a method to make it look like vegetation itself.
“Keeping this in mind, I’m kind of thinking about my process in this, as being part of the weather and erosion.“
Written by Marlene Neumaier
You can keep up with Alicia at her Instagram or catch up with her at one of our upcoming shows.
Vernissage 18 Feb 7-10 PM
Open Sun 19, Sat 25, Sun 26 Feb 4-8 PM
Vernissage 18 March 7-10 PM
Open Sun 19 – Wed 22 Mar 4-8 PM