Introducing: Alice Sherlock.

Alice Sherlock work at artpistol Gallery

Interdisciplinary artist Alice Sherlock is the latest emerging talent to join the gallery. Having completed her MLitt in Fine Art Practice at GSA in 2022, Alice has since moved away from the city and is now based in London. Her work is playfully engaging and surreal. It focuses around the idea of verbatim aural storytelling and reflective nostalgia, focusing on the mundane, shifting environments and conversations. We wanted to find out more about how Alice brings her unique visual stories to life and her general life as a young and exciting rising talent.

Introducing: Alice Sherlock.
Ambushed By Treachery | Acrylic on Canvas | 100 x 100 cm | VIEW

Can you tell us about your work?

My practice centres around aural verbatim storytelling, focusing on locality, the everyday, and the mundane. I take recorded familial conversations discussing childhood stories and turn them into a visual language. My work is not a literal translation of these stories but a romanticized, fantasised, bittersweet look at nostalgia.

A lot of my work revolves around domestic scenes and items people are very familiar with – such as tables, chairs and fence posts. By including these items it gives the audience a way into my work and is something that they already have connections with. I think this allows them to go deeper into the storytelling aspects of my practice. Working across multiple disciplines such as painting, sculpture and print allows me to explore storytelling in a more nuanced way. The delicate etched line on a print engages with an almost forgotten memory whereas a thick brush mark on a canvas speaks to a more playful surreal memory that has been exaggerated and elaborated with every retelling.

You have a background in Creative Performance – does that play a role in your art?

I studied Fine Art and Theatre at Lancaster University. This really opened my eyes to contemporary performance and how visual art and performance intersect. My practice is storytelling focused, so having a background in storytelling within performance has been helpful.

Introducing: Alice Sherlock.
The Old Chip Pan Fire (Yellow) | Stone Lithography | 51 x 35 cm | VIEW

As an interdisciplinary artist, do you have a favourite medium to work with?

My favourite changes daily! I love printmaking and the processes involved – the quality you get with prints are very unique to the process. It was always the pathway I chose at GSA however painting is much more immediate, which I love. Creating installations is always a fun way to work as it involves painting, print and sculpture and I don’t have to choose!

How does your output differ in each medium?

Painting, printmaking and sculpture all offer very different qualities that I love. Etchings are very delicate and I can capture small details within the work, whereas my lithographs are made with different drawing quality that is thicker and more expressive. My paintings are also on the larger scale and I like to use blank space to create a sense of place.

Introducing: Alice Sherlock.
Alice’s mixed media work at GSA

Where does the narrative and text in your work originate?

The text within my work all stems from snippets of conversations. I like the playfulness and the humour that comes from taking phrases out of context creating an ambiguity that the audience is allowed to roll with, creating their own interpretations of what is happening.

A lot of the text I add comes from family members. I often transcribe our conversations and then cut up the speech to create my own narrative. So the text often comes out fictionalised and altered slightly -artistic licence…

Can you describe a typical day in the studio?

I like to get into the studio early and make a plan for my day. I like to keep a tidy space which helps me keep focused. I like to start with sketching for any of my bigger pieces.

I then like to prepare all my paint before I start working so I can create a flow state.

Which artists do you follow and who has had an influence over your work?

My list of artists that resonate with me changes quite often, but right now it is Gabriella Boyd, Johanna Dumet, Lyndsey Mendick, Lynda Draper and Tal R.

Introducing: Alice Sherlock.
Left: ‘Pillars’ (2022) by Gabriella Boyd. Right: ‘Sink Your Teeth In’ (2023) by Lindsey Mendick

What did you like most about your time at the Glasgow School of Art?

I loved my time at GSA, the best part was meeting a group of like minded artists who were passionate about their practice. Glasgow was the best place I could have chosen to study, the history of the art school and how it sits so well within the city, and I love the connection it has with its place.

The tutors were all very supportive and really pushed me forward with my practice. The printmaking facilities were of course amazing and such a dream to work in particularly having access to lithography stones and presses.

You currently move between Glasgow and London – how do the two cities differ when it comes to your art and the spaces you find yourself in?

Working between two places is really fun. I love the art community of Glasgow, especially with the immediate connection of having the art school so central to many people. I have a familiarity with Glasgow that I don’t with London, so it has been fun to explore and start to build a community. So far I have met a few people who also studied at GSA – there are definite bubbles and pockets which feel like portals between the two places. My practice has become more influenced by pop culture recently, reflecting more on TV and films with strong links to nostalgia. My practice has also been influenced by familial stories so it has been important seeing my family more often.

Introducing: Alice Sherlock.
The Inner Tube | Steel Plate Etching | 100 x 75 cm | VIEW

Does social media play a role in your practice?

I use social media a lot within my practice. I feel connected to a community of artists – I find out where gallery openings are as well as keeping up with others’ successes.

Do you have anything exciting planned for 2024?

I will be working in my new studio, which I am very excited about. I will also be working on a new series of playful collage drawings looking at materiality and building an open narrative based on folklore and the TV I watched as a child. Lots of big things are coming!

Thanks so much to Alice for sharing this insight into her artistic mind and practice. We can’t wait to see new work emerge as the year moves on.