Elevating the everyday, Alice Joiner’s intimate space.
Inhabiting a cosy space at The Light Factory, London, artist Alice Joiner’s studio is at the centre of her emotionally-charged portraiture practice. Being close to her own house, she alternates working between the two. She observes that placing herself within domesticity invites more intimacy into her process, paralleling her preference to depict her sitters in their own homes. Although most of her photography happens off-site, her diaristic practice often leads her to capture her state of mind within the studio space. Here, the artist has transformed the utilitarian atmosphere through homely furnishings including a crocheted blanket, a mustard sofa and a Turkish rug. Maintaining a ritual that she has retained for eight years now, Alice begins her day with a morning meditation, followed by a journaling session, which is her favoured method of self-exploration. She tends to begin with a burst of energised activity, followed by time for reflection to avoid burnout. Despite describing her process as chaotic, Alice begins and ends the day with a tidy place, even stowing away a miniature hoover amongst a cove of art books. As sunlight streams through her skylight window, the artist states that she couldn’t work without her speakers to play music and podcasts that mirror her mood and appeal to her higher- consciousness. Hanging each of her works in order of creation, her oscillation between painting and photography is clearly visible as one circulates the room. Surrounding these are reference images of classical paintings, amongst them “l’origine du monde” by Gustave Courbet, which made waves in 1866 by rendering a female crotch, but whose title celebrates women as life- giving entities. The painting is emblematic of Alice’s own emphasis, nude archives that both allude to and rebel against the traditional objectification of females within the genre by empowering her sitters.