No. 145

Absurd World

By : Alice Adams

Entrant’s location : UK



This 3D painting installation is an autobiographical presentation of life online. From the point of view of a regular 23 year old who has grown up on the Internet. She is part of the last generation who can remember what life was like before the internet. Growing up to lead a dual life between the real and digital world. The paintings play with ideas of 'space inside the internet'. Drawing similarities between the endless world behind the framework of a screen and the infinite possibilities that can be framed within the context of painting. You can reinvent your entire world on the internet the same way a painter can on the surface of the canvas. This is freeing and endlessly exciting all at once and at the same time chaotic and restrictive. The layers and materials in the paintings slip between digital and painterly, playing with the optical effects of digital and spontaneous marks on the surface of the painting. A continuous exploration of how the digital world can inform the physical practice of paintings.

What did you create?

The piece is a large scale 3D painting, a ‘room within a room’ constructed of three walls inside a high ceiling room 10m x 12m. Upon entry the viewer sees a white cube with small paintings displayed along the walls. As they creep around to the other side they are faced with a surprise explosion of colour on the inside of the structure. The viewer is enveloped into the painting that shows the stark contrasts of life online and the real world. The paintings use variations on popular emojis, and internet language in their titles and imagery to reflect on the harsh realities of living life on social media. Such as ‘Not as Peachy as it seems’ or ‘Loner’ who has so much interaction online but in reality, is sitting alone in an empty space. There are embedded references to old 1980’s sci fi and technology print and technology to remind the viewer of past fantasies of what this life would be like. ‘The phone that lets you cut the cord’ the reality being we became more attached to our phones than ever before. The paintings are embedded on the walls integrating digital and painterly marks into the space.

Why did you make it?

The impact of portable technology and the since the invention of the iPhone in 2007 our bodies have become increasingly seamlessly integrated with the internet and technology and it has impacted human behaviour dramatically. My research and motivation behind my painting is to examine the effects this has on young people. We have been handed the internet unregulated and unsupervised and have grown up to navigate this fast paced world behind the screen. The world is now in a state of flux, and this era of technological changes continues to grow interesting properties for the medium of painting, a set of new possibilities has opened up through human relationship with technology. My work combines these new ideas/styles and techniques to try and make sense of this absurd dual reality we now face. Using a human analogue medium such as painting to try and connect the life we lead behind a screen and the life we lead in the real world.

How did you make it?

I have developed a visual language for my paintings. By framing this language within a confined space or ‘perspective room’ within a canvas. It echoes the way the digital world is framed within a screen and helps me make sense of the language I have created. I use bright synthetic colours, on trend themes that I pick up from social media. In my painting I work in Acrylics, spray paints and digital transfers on canvas. The piece also has paintings made digitally on an iPad pro create software and printed on aluminium dibond. I work back and forth between painting and digitally manipulating the images, then painting them again. I post images and experiments on social media using filters and live functions to edit and change the work.

Your entry’s specification

Installation space - 12m x 10 m comprising of three painted walls filling the space 4.4m x 4.4m x 3.3m long by 2.75m tall. The individual paintings installed as follows: 1.The Future of Tomorrow 2019 30 x 30cm. Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas 2. Untitled 2019, 30 x 40 cm. Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas. 3. What If? 2019, 90 x 90 cm. Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas. 4. Got Mail? 2019, 60 x 42 cm. Acrylic, Spray Paint and Mixed Media on Canvas. 5. Blueprint 2019, 90 x 90 cm. Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas. 6. FOMO 2019, 95 x 145 cm. Acrylic, Spray Paint and Mixed Media on Canvas. 7. The Launch 2019, 25 x 25 cm. Acrylic on Canvas. 8.Not as Peachy as it Seems 2019, 42 x 42 cm. Acrylic on Canvas. 9. Nostalgia 2019, 60 x 60 cm. Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas. 10.Loner 2019, 69.5 x 84.5 cm. Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas. 11. I think I’ve Bean Here Before 2019, 25 x 25 cm. Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas. 12. The Eyes are the Window to the Back of the Head 2019, 69.5 x 84.5 cm. Acrylic, Spray Paint and Mixed Media on Canvas. 13. Untitled 2019, 37 x 49 cm. Framed Digital Print on Aluminium Dibond. 14. Untitled 2019, 37 x 49 cm. Framed Digital Print on Aluminium Dibond. 15. Radio Shack 25 x 25 cm. Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas.