When he was very young and living in his imagination, it was Science, Science Fiction and Maths that informed Alan’s view of the world. While still a teenager, he discovered Taoism, Zen, Surrealism and Modern Jazz and set off along his own path to becoming an artist, blending imaginative art and science to the sound of Mingus. Full of energy and always on the move, he was soon producing Oriental artefacts, Tantric mandalas and book illustrations to the sounds of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream. Having a voracious and analytical mind he was always looking for the underlying pattern in things. By the ‘80’s he was working on sunflower patterns generated on physically huge new computers at the Royal College of Art. With Robert Dixon he published a number of articles in Leonardo, New Scientist and Computing & Art.
As the 90’s dawned Alan joined the environmental movement, as co-editor of the popular magazine Ideas for Tomorrow Today. It was during this time that he began to reflect more deeply on the metaphysical and concrete relationship between order and randomness, and started experimenting with ‘controlled accidents’ in paint on images derived from precise patterns being developed by Benoit Mandelbrot in his Fractal Geometry of Nature.
Alan was also listening to Environmental Recordings: sounds from the rainforest, a lagoon, alongside the ambient Music of Brian Eno. Ambient music can accommodate many levels of listening attention and can be listened to intently or ignored. How then to create an Ambient painting? a painting that might offer a sense of place and both compliment and alter your environment? a painting that would demand attention and yet, at the same time induce calm and a space to think, allowing the mind to break free...? The work started to become more abstracted.
In 2007, following a serious illness and the publication of his book Suburban Visions, Alan visited the Japanese gardens of Kyoto and the Pacific rim. On his return to London he began work on a new series of paintings – a collection of some 250 paintings now referred to as the Wayward Nature series.
Alan’s earlier paintings an be found on http://www.suburbanvisions.com and in his book.
Alan can best be described as a calm, congenial and low key, a seeker of one-to-one interactions who shuns the limelight. When asked to explain his paintings he replied by paraphrasing a Japanese Poem espoused by Alan Wattsin his book The Watercourse Way (1976)…
Sitting quietly doing nothing,
Spring comes and grass grows of itself, so…
|Woodstock Gallery||London 1984|
|Le Mur Vivant||London 2011|
|Art of the Imagination, Bronze Medal||Mall Galleries, London 1998|
|Bonfoey, Cleveland, USA||1979|
|The Arts Club, Picadilly||1980|
|Seven Dials, Covent Garden||1981, 1983, 1984|
|Eurogallery, W.Hampstead||1985, 1986|
|Mall Galleries, London||1998, 1999, 2000, 2001|
|Cork Street Gallery, London||2002, 2003|
|Giger’s Castle, Basle, Switzerland||2006|
|Rickshaw Gallery, London||2011|
|Embracing Wayward Nature||Leonardo Vol.20 No 1 1987|
|Symmetry and Wayward Nature||Computer Math Appl. Vol 17 1989|
|Suburban Visions||ISBN 9 780955 607905 2007|
|Lecturer, Harrow College||2002 - 04|