A visit inside Alice Irwin’s childhood hideaway.
Youth memories threat us from all sides at artist Alice Irwin’s compact studio in Hackney, London. The canvases, papers, sculptures, prototypes, etchings, journals and vast array of portfolios that embrace the room are filled with repeating symbols including three fingered hands or robot-like-figures. Depicted in a range of mediums – from etchings to installations- all works that inhabit the space seem to exist in a past memory-state, suspended between cheerful and nostalgic. A ceiling with no sign of natural light but only a beam of LED tube illuminates the room, intensifying the crowded state of her studio. The wall is covered by the artist’s reminders, to-do-lists, motivational quotes, and museum listings. Contrary statements can be found scribbled upon the walls affirming ‘fuck the system’ or ‘don’t let people crush your dreams’ amongst others. Random objects occupy the space, ranging from a helmet to a peach conserve, along with a selection of technological devices, or a home-size ball pit filled with small colourful hollow plastic balls, just in case the mood is playful. Crowded yet isolated, Irwin’s studio becomes more friendly and appealing the longer you stay there. The vivid tones, thickness of layers, and shapes start to reveal stories that seem familiar to all viewers. Serving as a playful hideaway, a three-fingered hand painted on the floor waves us goodbye as we leave the room.