Alice Wisden’s work is formulated around a collection of frustrations, anxieties, and questions. She has been collecting photos and mementos since she was a child, salvaging things from jumble sales, and the local tip where her father worked. From these ‘treasures’ she takes characters she feels an affinity with. This process forms the basis of her paintings.
Issues of identity and alienation drive Wisden’s work. She creates characters that form a unit within the identity of an individual viewer, and then challenges this unit. She views her characters internal relationship as a family narrative, a violent power struggle to do with dominance. Painting, she says, allows her to contain characters permanently frozen in emotionally wrought moments of despair, tormented by a formulated coalition and an alienated outsider.
By using graffiti and a style that is unabashedly clumsy, she creates an intriguing interplay between the real and imaginary. Wisden distorts the familiar by disrupting primary themes, pictorial tales, and focal characters. From this process she creates a sense of moral distrust, and when undermining these crucial and familiar boundaries a feeling of the uncanny becomes apparent.
Born in Brighton in 1984, Wisden trained at Wimbledon College of Art. Upon graduation her painting ‘Boy with a Gun’ was requested by the University of the Arts London to remain in its permanent collection. Following a phenomenally successful show in GXgallery in February 2009, Wisden has gone on to exhibit numerous times at Crescent Studios in Brighton, as well as exhibiting at the Museum of Everything. Her work is now in their permanent collection.