Aitken’s work derives from concepts of mundanity and day to day living. His source material is gathered from film stills, often bleak in narrative, containing slow narrative development that is an honest depiction of real life.
The paintings derive from quick preliminary sketches in soft pastel and felt pen. During the process of translating the studies into paintings there is an initial imperative to retain the quality of mark found in the drawings. However, this can often deteriorate, as there comes a point where the painting’s needs must be treated as an entity of its own, freed from the preliminary restrictions.
Aitken’s interest in the Heideggerian concept of an object’s ‘ready-to-hand’ ness is something that he intends his work to contain. This follows the idea that the objects around us are in a constant state of withdrawal depending on our interactions with them, where the sole act of observation can bring something into existence. With these thoughts in mind, Aitken’s work is about our perspective being in this constant state of flux, intending to make us question the very essence of observation itself.
Alan was awarded several awards during his 2017 degree show, including the J Gordon Brown Memorial Award for Painting, the Robert Gordon University Art and Heritage Collects Purchase Prize, and being selected for his work to feature in the 2018 New Contemporaries exhibition at the RSA.
Alan is currently working on a new body of work, exploring themes of contemporary life, creating drawings drafted from his imagination and daily experience. He has been teaching groups of various ages and abilities and will be coordinating his own art classes during the summer within the Studio Pavilion at House for an Art Lover.