About Alice Irwin: Life Lived With Play

Alice Irwin is a recent MA graduate in Printmaking from the Royal College of Art. Working with themes and imagery drawn from childhood memories, she creates bold and distinctive work in a practice that embraces sculpture as well as prints.

Irwin will use part of the Bothy Gallery as a temporary studio space, giving visitors the opportunity to see her working processes and to talk to her about the work.

Games, the playground and the unfettered imagination of our younger years are explored as places of playful innocence, yet there is an underlying and unsettling subtext implying that not all experiences of childhood are idyllic.

‘There are visual contrasts designed to stimulate different kinds of memory, and there are recurring motifs that generate different emotions.’ - Alice Irwin

These motifs, such as a three-fingered symbol that might be a stylised hand or a balloon, and figures with stick-like limbs recall children’s drawings, as do the often bright block colours she uses. In this display the artist also references treehouses and the game of snakes and ladders in a number of new sculptures. The ideas Irwin works with relate strongly to the 2017 An Arts Council Collection National Partner exhibition Tread Softly, and extend the notion of playfulness across generations that was celebrated over the summer in YSP's Season of Play.