Introducing: Isaac Aldridge

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Brand new to the gallery this October we’re delighted to introduce Isaac Aldridge. Originally from North East Essex, Isaac moved to Glasgow in 2021 to complete his MLitt at the Glasgow School of Art and now lives just north of the city. He’s been incredibly busy since finishing his studies, successfully selling work to buyers across the UK and Europe, and working towards upcoming shows. So it was great to take a moment to catch Isaac and chat about his journey to this point.

Introducing: Isaac Aldridge
State Of Union | VIEW

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I was born and raised in Harwich, a small costal town in North East Essex, England wedged between the River Stour and the North Sea. I had an active youth surrounded by lifelong friends, swimming most days; playing football most weekends and chasing sunsets along the promenade in the evenings. I was educated at the primary school at the end of my road, the only high school in town before heading to college in Colchester where I took my A Levels and Foundation Diploma. Subsequently landing in Falmouth, Cornwall where I completed my BA Fine Art degree. After moving back to Harwich and a couple years’ worth of working and saving I made the jump up North to Glasgow to complete my Postgraduate degree in Fine Art, and where I still find myself at the moment.

Have you always been creative and when did you realise you are an artist?

Looking back, I have always been creative without (maybe?) ever realising I was. I have some great photographs of me and my sister drawing and painting at the table in the living room. Some of my earliest memories are the two of us drawing directly onto the underside of the table when my parents left the room. I always enjoyed art classes at school, the environment and teachers.

I realised I had the potential to be an artist when I was approached by a gallery just after the private view of my degree show and within a couple of days had my degree show paintings in the Financial Times; artworks flying off to collectors around the UK and Europe and group shows across the UK.

Introducing: Isaac Aldridge
Isaac with his painting Catch | VIEW

What motivates you?

Deadlines; both critical and positive feedback; award wins/shortlists and sales, as it is always reassuring to know someone enjoys an artwork that has been considered, laboured over and lived with for a sustained period of time.

Other than this I try to rely on openness to influence whereby every interaction, encounter and experience can encourage something new in the work or process.

Which artists do you follow? And which artists influence your work?

I follow a lot of artists. Most of whom I see and discover through social media. I, like most artists (I assume) am sensitive to personal interactions and thus I feel a greater sense of influence from people I have met, chatted too and been around as it gives me a better sense of understanding their intentions, emotions and character.

I feel the most influence has come from artists whom have been there during critical transformations and discoveries within my practice: Rose Wylie; Samuel Bassett; Virgina Verran; Kate Southworth; Simon Averill; Mark Surridge; Charlie Dixon; Louise Craigie; Jane Topping; Marita Fraser; Michelle Hannah and Mick McGraw, who have all offered advice, guidance, feedback, support and theories that have shaped some form of my practice or pathway throughout my education. Equally important have been my peers, some now already established artists and makers, others carving their own paths of creative adventure.

Introducing: Isaac Aldridge
Hell Of It Gazer | VIEW

Other artists whom have made impressions on my work and mindset through conversations; tutorials; seminars and exhibitions that have had lasting effects are: Peter Doig; Denzil Forrester; Stuart Mackenzie; Michael Fullerton; Erica Eyres; Lucy Stein; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye; Chantal Joffe and Danny Fox.

I feel very lucky and am more than happy to be influenced by them all.

Can you describe your typical day in the studio.

Days in the studio vary from week to week. The past year I have been working on slowing down my practice. This has become an important tool to overcome any attachments that may come with active painting time and helps with objectivity.

Most days are spent drawing, testing and experimenting with bursts of sustained painting on canvas.

…and lots of snacking.

Introducing: Isaac Aldridge
Isaac’s studio.

What visual references form the basis of your work?

In short, Pop-culture and life. Any audio-visual (audio and/or visual) production. The references are pulled from a platform, source or experience using a self-imposed set of rules. From here the references start their journey into becoming an element of an artwork.

The references used are not intentionally the definition of the article but a device to offer substance for reflection. In my experience, visual references are bonds that we see in relation to each other and begin to associate with familiarity. They suggest moments that each individual may see differently and thus demands its own set of values to be appreciated by: romance; immersive; time and energy; etc. This is why I find painting so exciting as layered references have the potential to offer everyone something unique.

Introducing: Isaac Aldridge
My Chest | VIEW

What are you working on at the moment?

I have two group shows in London in November that I have been working toward and am very excited to be a part of. I have been catching up with orders, packaging artworks and sending them across the UK. I seem to be doing rather a lot of admin, but it is a slight relief as I spent the last 12 months in the studio without a break. I have also been networking with some established Glasgow based artists and makers and am excited to be joining the creative community.

Excited to see what happens over the next few months and beyond into the New Year.

Big thanks to Isaac for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with us. You can find his curated collection of available work online now. All enquiries welcome.