The Table – Alice Andrea Ewing

How did you start out on this path? Did you always know this was what you wanted to be doing?

I’d always known I wanted to make work but in truth I hadn’t seen myself working with bronze and most certainly not as a ‘founder-sculptor’ with the foundry being so central to my practice. My decision to read History of Art opposed to Fine Art as a degree was actually a consequence of knowing I wanted to make my own work. I wanted to gather as many references and influences as I could, not necessarily limited to the perspective of one schoool of thought or tutor’s preference. Finding a way back to the studio following a very academic course inadvertently led me to working with bronze – a little serendipity.

How has you work evolved since you first started making?

First in the change of medium – moving from painting to three dimensional work and casting. Within that, it’s changed a great deal as I’ve learnt more about the process and the materials I work with. Within my broader practice, the content of my work shifts quite frequently. It’s often tied to what i’m reading or researching project by project. Some projects like my Pomarius studio have grown and gained their own independence as an ongoing craft design series but the work still feeds back into my general practice and the development of new works with a very different aesthetic.

How do you approach studio time – get yourseld into the right frame of mind for creating/ making? Do you work better at certain times of the day?

I try to ensure I get to the studio everyday, even if I only manage a couple of hours. I also try to get some rest time/ space at weekends to read and find areas of interest even if that’s just going for a walk somewhere.

Casting my own work provides a strange tempo because you’re periodically pulling out of the purely creative acts and into more of a technician role to mobilise for a pour or the kiln. But i think that can also allow for some reflection time and builds a frustration or appetite to return and develop a piece or idea left waiting.

How do you challenge yourself within your work? Do you always see yourself working in this medium?

I think bronze and wax (as it’s the latter I feel i really work with) will always be integral to my practice. That said, I’ve shifted before and I can see building upon these materials within my work, adding to as opposed to abandoning this way of working.

What would/ has been your ideal commission?

With Pomarius, i’ve always loved working closely with an individual with a real insight into botany and gardening as there’s so much to learn from them. That and commissions that come from deeply personal stories and relationships with places. Those commissions are always the most rewarding and I find the works are enriched by provenance.

We know that social media channels such as Instagram play a pivotal role now in giving a platform to artists. To what extent has it benefitted you?

                    Do you think its possible for it to ever truly replace a traditional bricks and mortar gallery?

I think artists and curators have been discussing a question like this since the 1930s. There have been various trajectories and new mediums created to explore the experience and reception of artwork, the requirement of physical presence by work and role of audience. I’m always inclined to be a little distrustful of a total denial of our physical being and the particular sensation that comes from being present with an object or in a place. The idea that it can be completely replaced somehow saddens me and feels a little tied up with a techtopian attitude. I think that experience/ reception should be defended where it can.

That said, I have to be careful working in a medium with such conservative connotations not to seem bias against new media. It is great seeing work that you’d otherwise never see or hear through these platfolms and to have your own work seen in the same way.

Is there a recent exhibition that you have loved so much and encouraged everyone to go see?

Unfortunately this show was ages ago but it really stayed with me – Rose Wylie’s exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries was really insightful. I’d love to see Eddie Martinez’s bronzes again too.

What does the future hold for you and your work? Do you have any exciting plans for 2020?

I’m intending to return and exhibit the works I began in Austrailia earlier this year. Myself and my casting /foundry partner, artist Freddy Morris, are hoping to run a participatory bronze casting project with a school out there too. I’m also looking forward to developing relationships with new gardens for Pomarius,

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