Alexander Heaton's work reaches deep into the imagination, searching for man's most primeval interaction with nature. His paintings attempt to capture that first interaction, and the sense of wonder and spirituality as humanity confronts omnipresence. Alex works from experience, researching and conducting studies in the remotest natural settings.
Most recent works tackle psychological issues affecting young men in the west. The works comment on the meaning crisis, and act as an antidote to materialist-atheistic thinking that has resulted in the current nihilism of much of western culture. Alex is not afraid to tackle taboo topics such as intersectionality, diversity, political correctness and gender politics. Current drawings put a mirror to a society making insane judgments and demands upon its institutions. His work challenges morally questionable common assertions held by polite society such as of equity of outcome. By using text as the fundamental space of a compositional landscape, Alex seeks to show us the sacred power words have to change the world.
His work seeks to reassert truthful self-reflection as the best mode to self salvation. Through long and meaningful communion with nature his many drawings assert the inherent worth of deep spiritual reflection and recognise the sovereignty of the individual. He often draws upon mystical experiences he has had where noetic connections with the Logos or words of the divine were spoken to him. Contrary to many of his contemporaries assertions of collectivism being the best activator of virtue. Alex’s work shows us that it is at the level of the individual that true healing change can occur to bring about a better world. He draws upon deep wells of references from Carl Jung, Shamanism, Mythology, Christianity and Buddhism. Alex’s work asserts that there is still great goodness in the western cultural tradition.
As a mountaineer Alex, studies and researches themes directly. He often thinks nothing of walking and climbing to remote places in the Himalaya or Alps to cast an eye on his artistic prey – "I am the lonely figure lured by mountains, dark forests, alpine skies and forbidding ravines." The paintings look out from the summits of mountains and contemplate the beyond. Through his canvases he continues on the true Romantic journey, but in a very 21st-century way. "My work teeters on the edge of a filmic realism and also at times uses sampled vignettes of other painter's work." There are hints of something more sinister in the dark forests and crumbling glaciers that populate his works to date. It’s this struggle that fascinates him to keep painting. Recent works transports the viewer to hallucinatory and altered worlds. These are not real places, but are vignettes of sublime vistas I have experienced or sampled. The work touches on a common longing in us all to escape the modern urban landscape and throw oneself whole heartedly into serene expanses, and witness at first hand awe-inspiring natural phenomena. This isn’t always possible on a day-to-day basis, but painting as substitute for exploration can be. However, the work at times offers us a darker reality of complete desolation or abandonment at the ends of the world. This comes from his own experiences as a mountaineer. Witnessing in nature not love or beauty but an unsentimental commitment to constant change and renewal. In this way the work laments on our own mortality and strives to find salvation in our experience of the here and now. He is seeking through the act of painting to engage with nature through intense looking to see something of the spiritual. Nature at her most harsh and unsentimental as an overriding force is the main focus of interest. "I wish to achieve through my art work a feeling of longing in the viewer for something half known or experienced from the past when our connection with nature was much closer and crucial to our existence. I want to bring to life through images the places we never quite got to over the horizon, just beyond our reach and invest them with something of the divine."
Gallery Representation: Riflemaker
Central Saint Martins School of Fine Art BA (Hons) Fine Art.
Cleveland College of Art and Design BTEC Diploma Foundation Studies.
Alex exhibits widely, both nationally and internationally. Most notable recognition to date has included his solo show, The Secret of the Runes at the Residence Gallery London, which was selected to be in the Pulse Art Fair, Miami in 2011 to much critical acclaim. He has shown in The Future Can Wait, which was conceived as a complement to London’s Frieze. He has also participated in a number of other international art fairs including the 07 Projects Art Fair, London. The London Art Fair (2009 and 2011), Aqua Art Fair, Miami (2008). Alexander’s first solo show was The Horn that Matters (2007) at The Empire gallery. His work was published in Bant Magazine last year - Turkeys premier art monthly publication, The Sunday Times Magazine - article covering his show at the Empire Gallery in Vyner Street, Amelia’s Magazine covering his first solo show - The Horn that Matters, and a full page spread in Time Out whilst he was still studying at Saint Martins.
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2015 Project Thin Air - The Residence Gallery, London.
2013 Do the Ravens Still Circle the Mountaintop? – VJB Arts 10 Gresham Street, London.
2011 The Secret of the Runes - Pulse Art Fair, Miami.
2011 Trebuchet - The Residence Gallery, London.
2010 Abyssal Wolpertinger - Medcalf Gallery, London.
2009 Harz – Clarke Gallery, Berlin.
2007 The Horn That Matters – The Empire Gallery, London.
2006 Alpine Retreat of the A14 –Union Arts Club London.
2004 The Uncontrollable Urge to fly – Primitif Gallery, London
Selected Group Exhibitions
2018 Voids Rage Chimera Bloom - A Side B Side Gallery, London.
2017 Modern Panic 8 - Apairy Studios, London
2017 As it Stands: Unrefined, muted, abandoned - Hundred Years Gallery, London.
2017 Summer Salon - Islington Arts Factory, London.
2013 60% Water – James Freeman Gallery, London.
2013 Busan Art Fair – Busan, South Korea.
2012 Space Rage – The Residence Gallery, London.
2012 London Art Fair – Residence Gallery, London.
2011 Wunderkammer - Clarke Gallery, Birmingham/Berlin/New York/Sydney/St Johns.
2010 The Future Can Wait - Ellis Rumley Projects, London.
2010 Happiness Machines - Rise Gallery, Berlin.
2009 Splash back - Clarke Gallery, Berlin.
2009 Perfect Present - Stable Productions, 242 Gallery, London.
2009 The London Art Fair - Contemporary Art Projects, Islington, London.
2008 Aqua Art Fair – Aqua Hotel, Miami.
2008 Salon 08 - Matt Roberts Fine Art, Vine Space, Vyner Street, London.
2008 The Damned and the Saved - Stand point Gallery, London.
2007 07 Projects Art Fair – County Hall, London.