Estado de Alarma is a series of six abstract pieces created towards the end of the artist’s confinement during Spain’s extreme lockdown from March to June 2020. I left the UK just seven days before the Declaration of the Estado de Alarma, and experienced an entirely different trajectory through the pandemic than if I had remained. The works detail the mental state of the community as the rug was pulled form under our world and we found ourselves imprisoned in our homes as the virus swept across the country, through to a reconciling of our new world and a collective acceptance of how to move forward. Pieces are entitled 1. Avalanche 2. Declaration 3. Equilibrium 4. Spectre 5. Before We Rise 6. The Calculations. All pieces are Acrylic, Pastel and Ink on paper.
Al Orange: Artist Biography
I have been a creative person my whole life, as a punk musician, an electronic composer, a trapeze artist and aerial director, a pyrotechnician and a lighting, sound and audio visual designer for theatre. My work took me all over Europe and on occasion across the world. But all of this creative energy took place within the live setting, work that demanded audiences and large gatherings. I only started drawing and painting a few years ago, but struggled to find the time to really develop my craft alongside my touring activities. But when Covid 19, ripped my former life away from me overnight, I turned to the visual arts to feed my need for creativity, and also as a way to keep connected and find my voice amidst the uncertainty. Spain’s harsh lockdown became my art school and began making work every day and experimenting with different materials and techniques. An explosion of output that helped me to make sense of a rapidly changing world. I feel like I am at the very beginning of what will be a very exciting journey, a creative navigation of uncharted waters which I am delighted to be able to share with you on this platform.
Born into a country with which I shared no heritage, with a childhood spent moving from town to town, a working life spent largely on tour and now living as an ‘extranjera’ in a new country, much of my work is based around my complicated relationship with the concepts of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’. A gaze that captures both the view from the inside looking out, and the outside looking in. Of both seeing and being seen through imagined borders and assumptions that never truly represent me. Of both celebrating my outsider identity and yet still holding a curiosity for the comforts and pressures of normalcy in a time where nothing that went before can be taken for granted any more.