Portraiture and the Human Figure

Most of the works shown here are transcribed or appropriated from historical sources that have interested him within the canon of European figurative painting.

A series of works relate to his daughters great desire to own a 'real' pet which was in direct opposition to the parental desire to resist the pressure He uses child paintings of the 17th century as a starting point reproducing elements as faithfully as possible but then subverting the original with the inclusion of contemporary auto biographical references.

Alan states:
"I became conscious that this might be my last opportunity to witness document and celebrate some aspects of the life of a nine year old girl quickly moving towards adolescence and adulthood"

Alan has exhibited several times at the National Portrait Gallery London and has been awarded prizes in open portraiture competitions - in particular in 2008 where he was winner of the first prize in the Wales Portrait Award 2 competition. Frequently the starting point is an historical source that can be transcribed to incorporate something about the sitter.

Alan states:
"Portraiture interests me but not so much as a mere recording of an individual's appearance. I want to give the painting several layers of meaning perhaps incorporating something about the sitters past history, their relationships, interests and obsessions."

In other paintings incorporating the figure he appropriates pictorial structures and concepts from the past substituting his own imagery. This can be exemplified in his two series of works called 'Commedia del Goalie' and 'The Art of the Goalkeeper'. These series explore two major obsessions, football and painting. An interest in the religious painting of the 15th century is used as a metaphor to examine the role of the solitary goalkeeper as the last defender required to save the team and also as the individual most likely to be vilified. Some works are conventional easel paintings whilst others employ collage materials, mostly textiles, which are embedded in resin layers.

Alan states:
"I suppose these paintings are also self-portraits, this being a vehicle with which one can indulge in the idealised fantasy that sport represents for most boys of a certain age. Humour and irony are used to suggest that current realities are somewhat different."