Artist Alex McArthur is inspired by the natural world and influenced by long established landscape traditions. Photographs taken on her travels and drawings are a starting point for her work. These stir memories and emotions that inform the processes she uses.
Alex favours the monotype technique for the surprises it throws up in colours, forms and textures. She has experimented with dry point and collograph but always comes back to the monotype even though it is only possible to print one. The spontaneity of this most painterly form of printmaking allows for the expression needed to convey the experience of being in the landscape or travelling through it. Alex constructs surfaces suggestive of transience but at times the surface opens up to reveal the density and depth of what is being passed by such as a house, hedgerow or distant horizon that allows the viewer respite from restlessness and where the assertion of form opposes the surface of sensation. This intuitive process can destabilize any fixed image she may have in mind when she starts.
First steps may be intentional but sometimes the route changes and a particular fixed ‘view’ reflecting place or home collapses into the reveries and uncertainties of the individual artist. The finished work can be less a reference to place than a representation of transience. The play between form and sensation allows ambiguities to arise and sometimes the suggestion of a narrative.
Winner of The St Cuthbert’s Mill Award (2018)