Alice Alva

The hand of the artist is present

2 May 2015 - 14 June 2015


Alice Alva is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer based in Wellington whose diverse practice consists of, and investigates, the connections between drawing, illustration, digital media, graphic design and photography. Pattern and ornamentation play a dominant role in her work: repetition, colour, shape, materials, and the physical processes of making are of primary concern. There is an obsessive quality, inherently present within her as an artist, which drives her to repeat the same pattern numerous times within a work. For Alva, pattern is a visual composition that is unified by the way the materials are placed adjacent to one another. Often her work cleverly highlights the negative space, creating contours between the forms, as much as the coloured shapes themselves. 

The hand of the artist is present employs an ornamental motif sourced from a number of historic buildings around the Dunedin CBD. This work looks at ornamentation as a product of design but also how it serves as a superfluous aesthetic function. Ultimately, this colourful construction highlights and celebrates the expressive uselessness of decoration in the quest for pleasure and beauty. This contemporary urban camouflage also reveals the disparity between the labour intensive processes of pattern making and the fleeting nature of this site-specific installation.

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