Art on the road
Art gave me life
I’m Alice and I am an artist. I have no one media I work in; I like to try new things and experiment. I have made two short films, produced wearable art sculptures, created paintings and worked with installations. On this road trip I am currently working on a project around self-discovery and self-portraiture. This reflects the personal journey I am on while traveling, and true to myself I will be working will all different media to portray this transitional time in my life.
Our life living and traveling in the van centres around a few things, art being one of them. We wanted to explore new places and new ways of living that didn’t involve a 9 to 5 job. We wanted the freedom to do what we wanted and live life on our terms. And importantly to me we wanted a way of life that was inspiring so I could create art I would never have dreamed up if we hadn’t moved into the van.
Creativity has a big part to play in both our lives and was a big factor when building the van. We chose a self build so we could have more control on the design and style of our space. A sizeable chunk of the van is dedicated to a studio desk area complete with an art supplies trolley. One side of the vans wall space is covered in cork so I can display artwork and various inspiring imagery. So you can see art is a pretty big factor in our life on the road.
Being an artist I feel I look at the world somewhat differently to others
My journey to being an artist was fraught with challenges and much self-discovery but it was most worthwhile to become the artist I am today. Being an artist I feel I look at the world somewhat differently to others and it is this unique perspective I can offer the world in the form of my art. Art gave me life and it gave me meaning at a time where I was disillusioned. Through the art I make I hope to give others an insight into something new and give them a part of the life it has given me.
Being an artist I work with things that resonate with me, and before I left the UK I worked on an installation, which challenged the taboo around menstruation. I became much healthier and eco focussed a few years ago and naturally that fed into menstrual products. After doing all my research around reusable menstrual products I couldn’t miss all the information on period poverty, environmental impacts, and social taboos that still surround the most natural thing in the world. So my idea for an art piece with a statement on menstruation formed.
The installation was to be the centrepiece of the exhibition, which brought together a collection of works from the last 5 years. My installation was a wall of jam jars on thin shelves each containing my own menstrual blood. This public display of something so personal was my way of showing what society deemed ‘disgusting’ and ‘shameful’ was actually a beautiful thing and should be celebrated as such. More information on this period jar project and my exhibition ‘I Bleed With You’ can be found on my website alicepartington.com.
Living on the road meant giving up many things including a comfortable life of sorts, but the gain is far greater than anything we left behind: freedom. I think art and freedom go hand in hand, because without artistic freedom what is art?
I count myself incredibly lucky to call the van and open road my home. Being inspired by the changing landscapes and people we encounter along the way. But if I had not freed my mind from the shackles of our old ‘comfortable life’ then this journey would be amazing but not hold the same meaning I feel it has now. There are many more revelations to be had by constantly working on myself and my art, but I now have the freedom to be the artist I always knew I was.