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Through the use of drawing, copperplate etching, and sculptural installations, Alex Thompson’s work posits that a degree of how personal identities are formed is filtered through experiences in immediate relationship with our surroundings. Thompson’s work endeavours to act as a mirror, representing the ever-shifting sense of self that individuals occupy within the urban environment, itself a continuously changing notion. In creating a body of architectural self-portraiture from his own oeuvre of personal knowledge, he uses referents that substitute similar structures within the viewer’s experiences (schools, high-rises, offices, etc.). These spaces are presented as layered, translucent constructs, hanging somewhere between tangible, real-world structures and ethereal representations that house our processes of self-determination. Thompson’s work serves to influence its immediate surroundings, floating and coalescing in the moment of viewing, before drifting back out of focus. Thompson’s work seeks to render spaces in a minimalist fashion, using limited colour palette and transparency, which serve to create a neutral space that is open to the influence of the viewers’ memories and experiences. Through the use of detail and delicacy of line, he portrays the ingrained impact that past experience and reaction to spaces has upon consciousness. In the selection of media, Thompson seeks to evoke the mediums of contemporary institutional architecture, referencing structures we interact with on a daily basis through his use of transparent acrylic, steel cable, mylar, and copperplate etching. Material becomes an essential element of the work, presenting a vision of the contemporary human being as entwined with the materiality of the world in which it dwells, despite the ever-increasing prevalence of digital media in our landscape. His multi-disciplinary work seeks to channel the multiple levels on which architecture functions, and employ those motifs in order to investigate how they influence his own sense of identity.
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