Our new Studio Visit series starts in Sydney where we chat with painter and performer Alexandra Plim about all things inspiring – including which artists she’d invite to dinner.
How did you come to be an artist?
I’ve always been a creative type, making and drawing, acting, singing, and dancing. After school I went off to study theatre design at university. I then followed my passion for the stage and completed my acting training, back in Sydney. After having kids, I began painting, as I was keen to get creating and performing again.
There is something about art creation and painting in particular. The ‘letting go’ of control, the hours of rehearsal paintings, the drawings and sketches, and then you just need to let it all go and just paint! It’s very similar to the high of performance.
Describe your work in three words.
Expressive. Improvised. Colourful.
What draws you to painting?
I am totally addicted to the irreverent process of creating a painting. Much like rehearsing a play or improvising on stage, painting requires me to be in the moment. And it is a wonderful feeling. That and the paint it’s self. It’s so lush!
What influence does living in Sydney have on your work?
I was born and raised in the Inner West of Sydney, and I have lived here most of my adult life. I can’t really imagine living anywhere else! I’ve travelled a little and visited London, Edinburgh and New York, but Sydney really has the best mix of culture, quality of life and natural environment. Except public transport. In that respect, everywhere else is better than Sydney.
My work often explores the Australian landscape far away from the big city. I think city dwellers like myself often dream of those wide open spaces, tree filled bushscapes, hills and tranquil valleys! Its just so intoxicating!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
The Australian landscape. For example, the textures in nature, leaves and trees, water, the sky, the coast, the outback. Also the built environment, brick walls, the pavement, the busy-ness of life, fabric and fashion.
Do you listen to any favourite music or podcasts while working in the studio?
I have recently discovered art podcasts. I have found them so inspiring and informative! My favourites are Art Juice, The Savvy Painter, Laura Horn Art Podcast, Thrive and Survive and Talking with Painters. And then of course there’s always Triple J on my little radio.
If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be?
Wow! What an intense dinner it would be! Probably Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Cy Twombly, Sally Gabori, Tony Tuckson, Ken Done, Elisabeth Cummings, Lee Krasner, Franz Kline and Rosalie Gascoigne.
What are you most excited about artistically in 2020?
Lots of things! Trying to slow down and do less with more care. But of course making more art, pushing myself to experiment more and make new marks.
I am thrilled to be presenting my work again at The Other Art Fair in Sydney in March. And also participating in a few group exhibitions down in Melbourne at Fenton and Fenton.