Alan Todd

Born in: 1948, UK
Lives in: Australia
Describe your art in three words: Exploratory, ever-evolving, sensory=based
Discipline: Painting, Sculpture, Installation, Mixed media, Drawing
Education: Bachelor of Fine Art, Byam Shaw London 1970
See More Work:  alantoddvisualartist.com

Hira Hira - Acrylic on canvas 152 x 152 cm

"'Hira Hira' means falling leaves and is part of a series of works entitled 'Conversations With My Father.' The title is ironic in that the conversations never took place and he never got to see the work."

What themes does your work involve?

Essentially every piece of work is a self portrait in the sense that my response to the world around me is determined by specific experiences. The individual and society is the driving force behind all of my dance productions while the recognisable drawn gesture that pervades my use of graphic materials derives from the origins of learning to write. as both a means of communication and for its asemic properties..

Describe your creative process.
Everything begins with drawing, whether it is the realisation of forms leading to sculpture, marks made on a surface or as with my sculptures based upon a dancer, observation and transcription of movement in space. However, the possibilities of the medium, stored memory and the recombining of those memories become the driving force for any piece of work as it assumes an identity. The process is fluid in the sense that the end result is not preplanned as it is with Design but has to be allowed to evolve. I work in series [often to my own detriment when it comes to working space and storage] with each work in the sequence drawing upon the previous one. These is seldom a stand alone piece.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am very conscious of the path taken by modern and post modern artists to open up both what art can be and the materials than can be employed. In that light, every artist of the last century has played a part in influencing me. Increasingly though it is the conceptual and installationist artists who are shaping my creative direction as I search for a synthesis of approach and material that explores my connection to the world.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
There is always some suggestion that good/great art is art that appeals to the widest audience, gets published endlessly, survives its era or becomes the progenitor of a different mode of expression. but all of those definitions are peripheral. The artist works alone with each piece part of a continuum of expression. If the work connects to one person or becomes iconic, that is a bonus because only the artist knows whether an individual piece of work is 'good' and the measure of 'great' is a determination made by others who may well have a quite different agenda.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist in society is less determined today than it has ever been. other than to feed an avaricious art market which sees value only in investment terms. There are no more art movements and the mobility of artists renders national identity as null and void. More than ever, the artist is an individual, serving individual needs, and while some choose to make social or political statements through their work, it is the right to individual expression that drives most artists. even when state institutions and galleries as a means of artistic exposure seek to categorise and pigeonhole artists.
Conversation with my Father - Acrylic on canvas 152 x 152 cm
Incident on Coro 2 - Acrylic on canvas 152 x 152 cm
Somnambulant in N - Acrylic on canvas 152 x 152 cm
Don't Spiegel me of Gluttony - Acrylic on canvas 152 x 152 cm

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist