INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST ALICE EIKELPOTH
We interviewed Artist Alice Eikelpoth on a bench in a sunny spot outside her studio in Wimbledon.
Can you describe your practice in a few words please?
My work is mainly collage work on paper, sometimes on canvas. I paint as well, working with images that are collaged together, mostly large-scale
What are your expectations for this exhibition?
I like the space! And I think it’s always interesting to see your work and other people’s work in a different space than your studio.
Have you shown your work in a space like this before?
I have shown work in a sort of industrial space before, in Lewes in Sussex. It was a foundry, which is obviously much bigger, but it had the same sort of feel to it, very unfinished and quite rough. But never a garage.
How was that for your work?
It was really good, it worked really well because my work has that sort of raw, unfinished quality to it and I think it works really well in a space like that.
How do you think your work fits into the wider cultural scene today? Like, not just art but also kind of culture as a whole – Western culture I suppose, if we can still call it that.
I think you can’t help but have all these influences from everything around you, so my work takes bits from all sorts of places. And maybe that’s something that describes our time quite well. Things from everywhere – not only imagery but a lot of information, a lot of different influences coming to you as a single person.
And we receive it kind of osmotically, it soaks in somehow?
Yeah, like so many things you see every day, so many things you hear, so many things you read, and sometimes I ask myself what of that information actually flows into my work. More than you consciously know I think.
Do you think your work looks better in photographs or real life?
(Laughs.) I have had that before, photographing work changes it completely. It becomes something more finished… I mean my work is generally quite rough, and when I crop it and see it on the computer it looks… cleaner, in a way.
How much of your time is taken up by checking emails, Facebook, Twitter etc. compared to actually making work?
I have started taking my computer into the studio, which I refused in the beginning, because I knew that if you start looking at something – which might actually be quite interesting – that leads you to look at other things, even to do with art, you know, you look at talks and all sorts of things and in the end you feel like you’re this tiny little worm in a huge world.
I suppose that’s why we call it the web. But what’s interesting is that it functions in a radically different way to how art has been. You know, you see a painting and everything you need to know is in that painting.
Exactly, yeah. Well I realised that the less time I spend on the computer, the happier I am.
What’s the future for art?
(Laughs loud.) God, that’s a question. I think there’s always a future, since people will never stop making art. Even when we have all this technology, people still want to do things with their hands… but I don’t know what that means. I think we’ll probably see more art online, on screens, than anywhere else, but hopefully you’ll still be able to go somewhere and look at it in the flesh!
And finally, what does your screen smell like?
Do you want to go and smell it and let me know?
It’s probably a bit dirty (laughs)… Have you smelled yours?
(Sniffs screen.) Yeah it’s kind of plasticky.
Sometimes there’s a kind of warm, electronic smell, sometimes I have my laptop on my knees in bed and I think, it can’t possibly be good for you.
That smell, you know that kind of clean air smell, that’s something to do with electricity reacting with the oxygen in the air and producing ozone. Sometimes you can smell it after thunderstorms as well.
Ah, how interesting!