Alice Freeman – Artist of the Month
November’s Artist of the Month is talented printmaker and sculptor Alice Freeman.
Alice’s work deals with the tactile and textural qualities in etching and sculpture. Born in St Ives, Cornwall, Alice Freeman studied at Byam Shaw School of Art and Camberwell College and is currently exhibiting at ‘The Annual Open Exhibition’ at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA). She has also taken over our Instagram for a week. Follow us on @Artiqgram to see Alice’s posts.
Read the full interview below
What are you working on at the moment?
At present I am developing a series of etchings based on the deserted towns of Syria. Although absolutely devastating, there is something beautiful about these abandoned, skeletal buildings left to ruin and decay. Alongside this I am working with some new materials to create large-scale sculptures that will be displayed with these prints.
What artists have influenced your practice?
There are many artists who have been of influence to me over the years, these include: Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeoius, Norman Achroyd, Anselm Kiefer, Anish Kapoor, Tara Donovan, Ernesto Netto and Emma Stibbon.
Tell us about your dream project.
To create etchings you are limited to the size of the printing press. I aim to develop my prints so they could be displayed at a much larger scale. I would want to create grand scale sculptures that could be shown alongside these based on texture and material.
What’s the last exhibition you saw that made an impact on you?
The Mona Hatoum exhibition at Tate Modern.
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
Has any place or environment affected your work?
At the start of this year I participated in a site-specific exhibition with Studio Upstairs. The work was shown in a derelict building ‘Safehouse’ in Peckham, run by Maverick Projects. The sculptures I created were based on the space they were displayed in, a dark room with peeling wallpaper and crumbling ceilings. I made large latex hollow tubes that were lit from inside, hung from the ceiling and created strange shapes and shadows within the room.
What do you do in your spare time?
Creating my art and surviving takes up all my time.
Take us through the lifespan of creating a work of art.
It begins with an idea, usually from found imagery or within nature. I make some preliminary sketches and plans to work onto the metal. I then have to prepare the metal plate and cover it in a wax ground. I scratch the drawing into the metal. When I am happy with the image the metal is placed into the acid bath where it eats into the lines I’ve created. This is then removed and inked up. Paper is placed over the inked plate and it is run through an etching press, creating the print. I usually then go back and work into the drawing some more. The process can take months.
How does material/medium inform your practice?
To create my sculptures I am constantly searching for new and unusual materials to experiment with. Form and texture make up the main components within this area that I work. I enjoy creating sculpture that looks organic but is made from completely artificial and man-made materials.
Are you exhibiting anywhere at the moment?
At present I have work in ‘The Annual Open Exhibition’ at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) and at the Royal United Hospitals in Bath.