Alice Measom - A Creative Artist who learns through her work and the world she lives in.
The first time I met Alice, was at our Inter-Arts class, she made an entrance wearing some fabulous boots and had a lot to say about a lot of things. This is when I knew that Alice would always surprise me, and she hasn't disappointed. Every exhibition and festival we have done, Alice has took the challenge and ran with it. Alice delivers every time and is totally committed in what she is doing and has been an asset to Inter-Arts Company. Fiona Love (Founder of Inter-Arts)
What is your Background?
I studied Fine Art Practice and Theory at Lancaster University, and after I graduated I moved to London. I was lucky enough to get a job in the box office at Tate, working between the two London galleries, in, and it served as a wonderful introduction to the London art scene. Around the same time I started as an archive volunteer at the National Portrait Gallery, which began my career as a professional archivist. Most of my career has been working with the archives of creative people, and it was my passion for preserving artists stories which led me to get involved as a film producer on The Ballad of Shirley Collins (2017). The feature length documentary charts the life and work of legendary English folk singer Shirley Collins MBE, and captures her return to the music industry after a hiatus of 30 years.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, I am an only child so I had to find ways to entertain myself as a kid! If I’m not drawing I like to find other creative ways to express myself. I like to have fun with clothes and fashion (I adored dressing up as a child!), I like to cook, sing, play guitar, take photos. I’m not much of a writer but I do love to read, especially poetry and short stories.
What female artists inspire you? and why?
There are so many, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Frida Kahol and Cindy Sherman recently. I am primarily a portrait artist and these two artists have influenced me a lot. I love Kahol’s use of colour and symbolism, and I’m fascinated how Sherman creates characters, what I would give for her dressing up box! I like to keep up with new and emerging artists too, I recently discovered Elle Powell (@ellepowellart on Instagram); and, as we can’t go anywhere right now, I’m having to replace going to exhibitions with scrolling through social media!
What are you creating at the moment?
I’m just finishing some illustrations and a recorded reading of 8 O’clock in the Morning (1963) a short story by the science fiction writer Ray Nelson. It’s the story that inspired the 80s cult Classic film They Live (1988). The story is a critic of mass consumerism and rampant capitalism, and I was immediately draw to the fantastic and often grotesque imagery. It reminded me of the bold but yet confusing imagery used by government during the pandemic, so it felt like a fitting story to explore at this time. I’m not an avid consumer of science fiction, so this was a slight departure for me, but I’ve enjoyed the process and it’s given me a space to explore the imagery, public figures and messaging around COVID-19.
How have you coped in lockdown?
Relatively well. I don’t get bored easily which is helpful when there’s very little to do. I moved into Brooklyn Studios last autumn which has been great. I had been working from home for a while and I had wanted my own space for a while. It’s been strange to acquire this space during lockdown, as there are some of the artists who work there that I’ve only met through Zoom! I’m really looking forward to the time when I can meet everyone properly in person.
Walking in the amazing countryside that surrounds Hebden Bridge has really helped to. I come up with some of my best ideas whilst walking, so I always make sure I have my phone with me to record voice memos.
TikTok has been a new discovery this pandemic. I don’t really create my own content, but I get so much pleasure from watching content. If you hear or see me chuckling to myself it’s probably because I’m on TikTok.
Describe your creative process?
Intuitive, fast, slightly obsessive when the mood takes me. My creative output comes out on fits and starts, I don’t have a regimented pattern, I just tend to work when the muse takes me ( or when I have a deadline looming!) My main medium is ink marker pens, which allow me to work speedily and build layers up. I recently started working with digital software too and that has opened up lots of new techniques for me to experiment with.
What do you think about the world right now? Has it changed you in any way ? how has it changed you?
The situation we find ourselves in right is pretty horrific. The news overwhelms me, so I have to be selective in how much I consume. I’ve learnt the importance of appreciating the small things, in taking each day as it comes and that if you look for it there are always glimmers of hope. I’ve tried to view the pandemic as a marathon, not a sprint. I’m pacing myself because I suspect we will have to live with restrictions for a while yet.
What are you looking forward to returning back to the world when we can?
Connecting with people. Seeing, hugging and kissing friends and family. Enjoying nights out at the pub, cinema, at restaurants! Going to exhibitions, seeing live music and theatre! Inviting people over for dinner, going to parties! Weddings and big get togethers! I got engaged at the end of 2019 and I’m looking forward to the day when my fiancé and I can married and celebrate with all our loved ones.
Go to Alice Measom page here on Inter-Arts Festival 'Invisible Made Visible' (our group on-going project's) to view her profile page.