Friday, 4 May 2018

Festival 15 - Alan Rankle

Our next featured artist is Alan Rankle. Here he talks about his art, insects, travel, Norman Road and the shared experiences of dogs and art restorers....  

 Hudson Spring (2017)
 oils on canvas 40x40cm 

Can you tell us something about your work in this show and something about how your work has developed over the years? 
The painting featured in the exhibition Untitled Painting XXVI (Bodiam) 2018 is from a series called Mothland. An evolving theme of these paintings came from my thinking about how various creatures experience the world in quite different ways. For example bats are flitting in the evening landscape focused on sonar. Moths are tuned in to the particular sound frequencies of predators and navigate by the light of the moon. Dragonflies and mayflies live their lives in the air and also underwater and then on the surface membrane of the water. As for your dog…. as well as seeing things only in blue and yellow your dog can hear many sounds you can’t and is of course seeing ultra violet light also…. itself the means by which an expert art restorer can spot a great painting from a fake. 

What do you find most enjoyable and/or difficult about the process of creating art? 
Since I’m interested in landscape painting the work begins with walking and catching ideas. 
I like to talk with writers and some artists I’m close to about the way painting can be a catalyst for noticing symmetries and relationships between all kinds of phenomena. As Shih Tao put it: ‘… in terms of penetration and development, painting is the greatest guiding form in the world.’ 

I don’t find it difficult, except maybe knowing when a painting is complete so I tend to ask someone and as Oska Lappin once said: ‘Well you could just walk away Renee or keep going and cross that line into genius…’ 

Fairlight from the Watermeadows V (2018) 
oils on canvas 91x76cm 

You travel a lot with your work, would you like to tell us about your recent projects?
Two projects I’ve worked on recently are an exhibition curated by Claudia De Grandi and myself for the Fabbrica del Vapore arts centre in Milan which we called Axis: London Milano and designs for six suites of rooms at the Lowry hotel in Manchester in collaboration with Rebecca Youssefi, the architect Veronica Givone and AFK Studios.

You’ve been based in St. Leonard on Sea for a number of years and have seen a burgeoning art scene evolving. Do you feel an affinity with the other artists who live here?
Well a few of them interest me a great deal and we’ve worked together on various projects over the years. The exhibition in Milan featured some artists who’re based here on the coast: Rebecca Youssefi, Oska Lappin, Charlotte Snook, Matthew Radford, OverlapKirsten Reynolds, Walter and Zoniel along with others who have connections to the town like Jake and Dinos Chapman, Cat Roissetter and Stephen Newton.

It seems quite special to be able to just walk down Norman Road to the Russian Cafe and meet up with artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers... what to say…. Bonjour Monsieur Torriset!

What would you like to see the Hastings Arts Forum do in the future? 
I think inviting curators to bring art from other places would be a good idea. Maybe you could link up more with the local museums and do joint ventures. 

Fairlight from the Watermeadows IV (Goya) 2018 
oils on canvas 100cm x 80cm 

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