Inside the bright and colourful London studios of artists Ralph Anderson and Alice Wilson
Tucked away in Streatham Hill, in a corner of south-west London, lie two bright and breezy studio spaces, belonging to husband and wife, Ralph Anderson and Alice Wilson.
The artists have studios that happily face one another and are part of a wider community founded by ASC Studios, one of the UK's largest charities managing artist studios.
Glasgow-born, Ralph currently has a solo show at JGM Gallery entitled This Is For You. Featuring a series of abstract paintings and drawings based on felt tip drawings and scribbles. Alice, meanwhile, is exhibiting new site-responsive sculptures at the Cheeseburn Sculpture Park in Northumberland this month. We popped along for a chat and to tour the couple's studios.
Tell us more about your studios
Ralph: My studio is in an old car mechanics garage in south London. There are about 40 artists in this one building and I discovered it when I first moved to the area around 10 years ago. As it is an old building with no insulation it is freezing in the winter and baking in the summer but it gives me the space to produce and store my work.
Alice: I have been in my studio block for 11 years now, originally moving into a space that I shared with Ralph and then to my own. Recently, I have moved to a larger space in the block that accommodates various woodwork machines, which allows me to make the large-scale sculptural works that have developed in my practice in recent years.
I really love my studio, the double height ceilings allow me to make very tall works and get the distance to view things properly. I also love that the opposite studio door to mine is Ralph’s, so we often share cups of tea and opinions. As well as providing me with a great space to work in, I have made many friends at Streatham Hill, that I will continue to work within the future.
Can you share more about your current exhibitions?
Ralph: 'This is For You' is a development of previous exhibitions where I have been investigating the fluidity of painting and playing with representational and non-representational notions in art. With these new works, I am now bringing drawing into dialogue with my way of making and the resulting paintings are representations of quick felt tip drawings and scribbles. As with previous work, these paintings are cut out aluminium or plywood structures that float an inch or so in front of the gallery walls.
Alice: I've just completed the installation of four sculptures at Cheeseburn Sculpture Park in Northumbria which has been a big project to prepare for in recent months. In September, I am having a solo exhibition at JGM Gallery which is dominating a large part of my current thinking and making.
What's the local creative scene like?
Ralph: The London art scene is a great thing to be part of. It is widely varied, hugely creative and we are very lucky to have so many different cultures in one city to share ideas with and inspire each other. There is a constant battle with the rate of property development pushing artists further out of town but it is a very supportive and industrious community, and new opportunities are constantly popping up.
Alice: London provides a fantastic creative scene, the likes of which I can’t compare. From living and practising in London for almost 15 years I have grown a large network of contemporaries and friends, each week provides at least three opportunities to go and see a new exhibition. And, as mentioned previously, the friends I have made in our studio block have provided a strong and supportive network that is great to have.
To find out more about Ralph Anderson, visit ralphanderson.co.uk. To discover more about Alice Wilson, go to alicewilson.org.