Alysia Webster: Exploring the Rocky Outcrops

Zealous Stories: Mixed Media winner, Alysia Webster, is a visual artist based in Northern England. Alysia’s energetic work aims to recreate the feeling of being immersed in the landscape, and the ever-changing weather against the unyielding mass of the mountains.

Alysia Webster, Tracks #1, Oil and Pastel on Paper, Collage.

Congratulations on winning Zealous Stories: Mixed Media! You mention that your work draws on experiences from different places – what place inspired your winning work ‘Tracks Series’?

‘The Tracks Series’ was inspired by exploring the rocky outcrops near Kinder Scout in the Peak District. When I first went hiking in the area, I was completely in awe of all the different rock formations that are scattered along the Edale Skyline. One of the most memorable spots was a rock formation called the ‘Wool Packs’, that is like a sculpture park on top of the plateau, with so many different shapes and sizes, you can walk through the wool packs like a maze. I kept returning, and the experiences filtered through into mixed media works. While creating this series, I have discovered a deeper interest into the specific geology of the land, and the formation processes of the rocks, and I’m currently exploring that idea for a new body of work.

Tell us about your process for creating this series – what materials did you use to achieve the textural layering effect?

I was interested in the different shapes of the rocks and their relationship with the surrounding landscape. Taking inspiration from the rock formations, I started tearing up my oil paintings that were done on primed cold-pressed watercolour paper, and layering them on a postcard sized format, looking for connections through colour, shapes, marks and textures. I also work over the torn-up paintings using pastel and charcoal on wet and dry paint to build up the layers and texture. My favourite part is connecting all the different pieces together; arranging, re-arranging, and re-arranging again and then finally sticking them down, completing the piece.

Tracks #4

Your portfolio of works dates back to 2017, how do you feel your work has developed and evolved between then and now?

I think over the years my work has focused more on the natural forces that create the landscape. I’ve been working on how I can get that idea across in my paintings, experimenting with new tools, different mediums, and techniques. I have learnt a lot through trial and error as I have progressed as an Artist, and because of this, I think I’ve become bolder in mark making.

You aim to recreate the feeling of being immersed in the landscape. How is this manifested within your work? 

In my work I try to balance atmospheric washes of paint against more intentional mark making to re-create the contrasting relationship between the landscape and the weather. My paintings follow on from loving being in the landscape, exploring new places and being fascinated with the composition of the land, and I hope that the viewer gets the same feeling of curiosity from my work. I’d like for viewers to be able to get lost and always find something new in my work, like you would if you were to walk the same path every day, you’d notice something new every time.

Tracks #6

You completed your MA in Fine Art two years ago. Looking back, what one piece of advice would you give to creatives who are just about to graduate?

Keep in touch with your fellow creatives! I think this is so important, because it’s really challenging finding your way in the world after graduation, and it will always be easier and more enjoyable with good company. When I moved out of my MA shared studio, I missed it immediately. I’ve had so many invaluable conversations with my peers, who have helped me, reassured me, and brought humour to the everyday problems of being an Artist. I’ve endeavoured to keep in touch since, whilst also forging new relationships and meeting new creatives; you never know what exciting projects could develop if you keep the conversation going.

How have you been keeping creative / motivated during lockdown?

At the moment it seems like there’s a balancing game between keeping busy and just taking a moment to relax and trying not to miss too much. I thought that the lockdown would be a good opportunity to start a new project. I’ve been busy cutting up MDF boards for lots of small 20 x 20 cm works, ready to experiment with, and see where they end up. Having something to focus on and get lost in definitely helps brighten up the lockdown.

Tracks #2

Alysia Websters’ work, Tracks, was selected by industry guest judges from Roy’s Art Fair and Guildhall Gallery.

Alysia also won £100 cash prize, a portfolio review with Roy Tyson (Founder, Roy’s Art Fair) and a subscription to Elephant Magazine.

Website/ Follow Alysia on Instagram 

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Ellie Isaacs

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