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Building a sustainable creative process: MA Fine Art graduate Alexandra Errington 

abstract textural cylinder shape sculpture. Featuring orange, blue, green and black colours
  • Written byGrizelda Kitching
  • Published date01 March 2021
abstract textural cylinder shape sculpture. Featuring orange, blue, green and black colours
'Rebond', by Alexandra Errington

Alexandra Errington graduated from MA Fine Art at Chelsea in 2020. Alexandra was the recipient of the Cecil Lewis Sculpture Scholarship, created in 2007 by The Cecil and Hilda Lewis Charitable Trust to support postgraduate students on Fine Art courses whose practice is primarily focused on producing 3-D objects.

Alexandra’s stand-out submission to the UAL Graduate Showcase, titled Upsurge, explored the disregarded potential of everyday domestic items. Through a practice of sculpture and altering unusual objects generating new forms.

We caught up with Alexandra to hear more about her practice, Showcase submission and her experience since graduating.

bamboo blinds constructed into a folded sculpture
'Two Fold', by Alexandra Errington

Can you please describe your practice?

At the heart of my work is a desire to animate our manufactured environment and explore the disregarded potential of domestic items. Through a practice of sculpture, I alter the natural order of synthetic materials, transforming them into enigmatic, organic entities.

My operations are fuelled by a fascination for evolutionary biology, microbiology, and the organisation and reorganisation of living forms. The speculative process I am developing aims to bring intangible concepts such as growth or symbiosis to a more familiar scale.

I am interested in the idea of a mutating image; I look for forms that are crossroads between many things, images that activate our associative thinking, that are familiar but also alien.

a orange roll of carpet constructed into a ripple sculpture.
'Rebond flakes', by Alexandra Errington

I try to keep a balance of 80% recycled or found materials and 20% bought. I hunt for materials and objects that have retractable and flexible qualities: this allows my work to be easily stored and transported, then deployed during an installation. I am gradually adapting my work, predesigning it to withstand constant stimulus and restricted space.

What were the inspirations behind your Graduate Showcase project Upsurge?

Objects are like energy fields, they have laws, desires and neglected properties.

The summer before I started the MA Fine Art course, I found different bamboo blinds on the streets of London. I was fascinated by their ability to shape shift and generate new forms endlessly. Upsurge explores the potential for these objects to become self-sufficient and adaptable structures.

two wooden stick sculptures, standing upright with a red covering over the top half
'Warp' by Alexandra Errington 

Taking part in the Graduate Showcase was great, it was interesting seeing everyone’s work in one place , and discovering how each individual has adapted their practice to the pandemic. I also can’t wait to see the physical show, which is scheduled for this summer if all goes well!

close up of installation, red string draped off a beige folded material
'Upsurge Accretion' by Alexandra Errington

What have you been up to since graduating in summer 2020?

Since graduation I have moved into a new studio space in Brixton, sharing with two other students from the course. The process of searching for a workspace in London is a very exciting and many studio complexes offer discounts for students which is great!

I am really enjoying graduate life, working on a new series of sculptural prints and taking time to rethink and develop my installation work from the course. I am also applying to different opportunities and organising exhibitions with other artists.

Graduation is a thrilling and freeing time, it’s a moment to take a breather, reflect, and put into action all the valuable skills you acquire during an MA.

a floormat constructed into an abstract shape
'Greendale sequence' floor mat By Alexandra Errington

Finally, do you have any advice for students considering studying on your course?

The MA Fine Art course is a great opportunity to meet interesting people and get a lot of experience curating and organising group shows.

It is an intense and thrilling experience that will boost your confidence and teach you valuable professional skills about sustaining a creative practice.

View more of Alexandra’s work on her website