Experience the wonder of colour

Welcome to the illuminated works of fine art graduate Paige Alexander

Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander

Manipulating the rainbow

Playing with colour motivates my art.

I am fascinated by how visual language is processed before we are consciously aware of it. I love to question colour and the power it holds. To experiment with the impact of colour. To be evocative with it.

Contemporary movement and conceptual art are also huge inspirations, as they provide the platform to reflect on society and the issues we face everyday. 

My work is forever changing because of the materials I use. I love to play and experiment with new things, to see how they can work. My process always ends up being very time consuming, but that is an aspect I love. I create all my installations in some form of studio space, but I like to see the how the work moves outside, too.

Play has such a huge impact on my work. Without it, I would not be able to stumble across the unusual ideas that form the work itself. I use play to help me think and process. Playing often leads to places that I, and my viewers, would otherwise never see.

Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander

Spinning the colour wheel

Colour inspires me. Colour sets the mood for me. 

I have always described myself as a chromatophilla artist – a person who loves colour – because I am fascinated by exploring vibrant colours and meaning.

My art installations are always based on experience. I'm inspired to develop my work based on the art and the viewer. My desire is for viewers to impart their own emotions towards my work, whether it is an installation, painting, or object.

My favourite colour depends on what mood I am in. I love all colours. When I lived and studied in the South West – being extremely close to the sea was so inspiring – I could not help but use blue. Today, I’m loving yellow, because it has been super sunny lately and that makes me very happy. 

A ray of light

I love to question the impact of colour.

My work, Ray of Light (Part one), focused on ever-changing projections of light, and was showcased at my final degree show at Plymouth. This has to be my favourite piece so far – an art installation that concerned wonder with prismatic light that drew attention to the ever-changing projections. 

It was exciting to use colour as an element of visual language. This was at the very beginning when I began to question colour and its ability to impact us. The start of examining connections between architecture and the site-specific, plus the way we perceive and experience our bodies in space.

Leaving a legacy at Illuminate

I was over the moon to be a part of Illuminate Light Festival once more.

Displaying part two of my Ray of Light installation at Plymouth's Illuminate Light Festival was an amazing experience – it was incredible for my work practice.

I was lucky enough to be involved again this year, where I gained even more knowledge and saw how viewers perceived my latest piece, which was brighter, bigger and better!

To build on this experience and to be commissioned to create a legacy piece at Royal William Yard for Urban Splash is very overwhelming. It's amazing to have a piece of my work remain beyond the event. Words cannot describe the excitement!

In the space of a year, I have moved from being an graduate of the BA (Hons) Fine Art course to postgraduate study, so there has definitely been a change in my work. I am hopeful it is getting stronger and more ambitious. Personally, I have seen an increase in my confidence, greater inspiration, and being even more motivated.

Royal William Yard lit up for the Illuminate Light Festival
Ray of Light by Paige Alexander
Illuminate 2017 by Dom Moore
Paige Alexander

Making magical moments

I'm inspired to give viewers an emotional experience.

My aim is to examine the relationship between my artwork and the viewer. To focus on the sensory experience. I want to explore the purpose of having a 'genuine presence' for an audience. To question, does an unhindered experience complete the artwork? Asking, without an active audience, would my work have purpose?

Space has such a big impact on my work. Ray of Light was influenced by wanting to combine architecture and light. Through research and play during this project, I was able to create and explore interactive spaces that allows viewers to have their own experience. Working within allocated spaces can be very challenging, but is very rewarding once the instalments are completed.

Whenever I am exhibiting work, I always observe from the sides. I love the idea of viewers not being aware I am present, purely because I can spot their natural reactions. Every piece I have made so far has always surprised me. Reactions are always different, as everybody brings their own ideas, or new ways of observing my work, that I did not know were possible. All the more reason why I do what I do.

Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander

Shining a spotlight on Plymouth

My dream studio? My own version of Royal William Yard.
Being lucky enough to go to a university-based right by the sea made an incredible impact on me. Plymouth’s surroundings are so beautiful. Finding a spot by the sea, listening to the waves and taking the time out to breathe and think was so powerful. Studying here helped my art grow in so many ways I did not think were possible, particularly how I moved in to developing installations that became site-specific.
The facilities at Plymouth are fab. The University offers you so much. Having the studio based at Royal William Yard was an amazing opportunity – it truly is an inspiring studio space. We were very lucky to have workshops set in our timetables and I am happy I experienced every one they had to offer. These workshops, going to events, viewing exhibitions and getting involved in art weekenders have all made an amazing impact on my learning and knowledge of how the art world works. Get involved in as much as you can!
If I could have my dream studio it would have to be near the sea again, I really miss that element – I would love it to have open skylight windows and natural beam work. Ideally, my own version of the Ocean Studios at Royal William Yard!
Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander
Paige Alexander

The business of art

I enjoy the challenge of marketing my work.

It is always hard to get your art seen online. I advertise my work by using my Facebook page to share what I am up to, which events are upcoming. I showcase my work on Instagram, too. I also have an online shop which is a good place to catalogue my work. I never really know who will reach out to me from it, and that's exciting.

As a compliment to installations, I like to paint on unusual items to make them unique. Although it is always hard to find an idea that hasn’t been done before, this is where my record pieces were born, later developing into record clocks – a fun side project for me.

It is so important to surround yourself in the artist community – this helps with making new connections and even collaborating in ways new to you. Seeing other exhibitions and events really keeps the fire burning and the motivation and ambition soaring.

Work created by artist Paige Alexander for Illuminate

A bright future in big spaces

My advice is, no idea is a bad idea.

Always continue to believe in trial and error, as what you might not like, others may love – it is worth taking risks within your work because it can also keep you motivated.

My personal ambition is to create my installations in some of my favourite buildings I have come across – Bristol Old Vic, Vnitroblock in Prague. There are some beautiful architectural buildings all over the world and I would love to make them pop or make them brighter – to allow more people to see the possibilities I see in these spaces. My absolute dream is to one day have the chance to exhibit at the Eden Project.