Mr Alexander Duncan BA (Hons), MA (RCA)
Lecturer in Fine Art: Studio Site and Context
Tel: 01792 481000 (Ext 3347)
Working with undergraduate students, teaching them fundamentals in historical and contemporary approaches to creative making. Exploring this through a grounding but not limited to workshop and 3D focussed learning, where students are asked to consider the ‘surface, substance and spirit’ of artwork.
Born in Swansea in 1985, Alex trained at Swansea Art College where he was award a first-class honours degree in Fine Art and following a studio bursary award had his first solo exhibition, surge at the Mission Gallery. A solo show ‘raised beach’ at MOSTYN followed in 2013, where Alex further explored a relationship between materials and coastal proximity.
Alex moved to London in 2011 and went on to study for an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art; graduating in 2015, the same year he was selected for the London Open at the Whitechapel Gallery and was the recipient of the Wakelin Award by the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. In 2017 Alex had his first international solo show Blow, at Aldama Fabre Gallery, Bilbao.
He works between Swansea where he lectures in Fine Art and London where he has his studio and co-directs a ‘not for profit art’ space and studios ArtLacuna.
Director of ArtLacuna Ltd, London (Artist studios / project space / darkroom)
‘Material Practice’, ‘Ways of Thinking’, ‘Research in Context’ , ‘Research in Practice’, ‘Visual Studies’ and ‘Material Construction/Deconstruction’.
Water has acted both as an influence and connector in my work; growing up in South Wales the slipways and curved seawalls offering interstitial, intertidal spaces of rawness and poeticism. As well as a binder in the concrete cast ‘floats’ borrowed from my local swimming pool in Battersea; the newly weighty material clung to, scratched at and bitten into, carrying all the traces of interaction, of the body and atavistic space.
I have been exploring a reaction to a thin curved line that is drawn through a sensitive and shifting liminal space, a sort of pathetic anti-wave. These in-between edges often feel like they have limitless potential - like you could find or witness anything life throws at us - where slipper limpet groups (bungalows!) gather and curve like a slow-motion wave until their numbers cause them to break from their anchor.
Returning weekly to teach, I would walk to the front (sometimes swim) and scan the seawall’s reactive surfaces; exploring the energy and condition of the space, how the surface carries all the traces of interaction, of the body and atavistic space. Walls are often described as the dominant symbol of the human condition, while water is the material that binds every one of us to a need.
Making things that need to be held or touched is vital, as we make sense of the world through our contact with surfaces. Recently time has been dominated by a sense of distance and an inability to support and be close to those we care for. The politics and ecology of buoyancy, what being afloat means can also be seen in my earlier work cove. A large scale collection of polyurethane foam ‘pebbles’ sought along the coast of Swansea. The waste material of ship buoyancy, housing insulation and lifebuoys sweeping into in-between inlets. Their lightness offering erosion on a fast forward button.
Working between Swansea and London I often feel these inter-weavings of spaces along the shore, of travelling portals and buoyancy, what being afloat means can also be seen in my earlier work cove. A large scale collection of polyurethane foam ‘pebbles’ sought along the coast of Swansea. The waste material of ship buoyancy, housing insulation and lifebuoys sweeping into in-between inlets. Their lightness offering erosion on a fast forward button. Working between Swansea and London I often feel these inter-weavings of spaces along the shore, of travelling portals and of spaces central…their jarring, friction and material interconnectedness. From the centre to the edge; of surface, substance and spirit.
Currently a Director of ‘Artlacuna’, London. A not for profit, artist run space that encompasses studio space, darkroom and project space with a programmed series of exhibitions, events and cultural outreach.
- Scaffold, Folium Publishing 2019
- Sea Empress "Tide Edition" 2018
- Floor magazine, 2017
- Young artists in Conversation, 2017
- drain magazine 'junk ocean' online publication in contemporary art/culture
- quarterly. 2017
- Adjacent Realities ACF, 2917
- Mediterranea 17 'No Food's Land, 2016
- London Open 2015
- Go To Ground, Vulpes Vulpes, 2009 - 2014
- As Is the Sea, An Anthology. 2014
- Welsh Arts Review, 2013
- Henry Moore Artist Award Scheme Grant 2020
- The Wakelin Award, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, 2015
- RBS Bursary Award, Royal British Society of Sculptors 2015
- Joseph Hermann Award/People's Choice Award National Eisteddfod of Wales, 2012