Artist on File: Alana Jenkins
Alana Jenkins’ art is as diverse as it is experimental with the use of multiple mediums. The onlooker is drawn into her work as they try to decode the interesting symbolism in many of her pieces.
After graduating with a degree in ceramic design at Central St. Martins, London, in 2005, Alana worked as a graphic designer in an international media agency for two years. Alana divides her time between the Middle East and England, continually searching for fresh inspiration.
Alana is inspired by different cultures and enjoys comparing and contrasting the Middle East with England, manifesting itself in juxtapositions in her artwork, in fact, contrasts are not just limited to culture but to the natural versus the man-made world also. Alana commented that, "I have always been interested in cultures and people, enjoying exploring different homes, approaches to life and the way they think. I would like to move to the Far East next."
Alana is heavily influenced by nature especially trees as she sees them as, "a reflection of our individual lives, each one being unique like us." This point is emphasised in one of her biro works in which a human foetus is entwined in the roots of the tree, the root becoming the umbilical cord, sustaining life. This mirrors the importance of trees in our lives for our survival.
In another piece, the tree has a heart and the branches look as if they are frantically moving. This personification of the tree is reminiscent of the talking and moving trees in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." Alana commented on how she was influenced by the gothic film "Sleepy Hollow."
The creatures and items sustained by the tree are symbolic. For instance, Alana referred to the butterfly as representing the butterfly effect in which the smallest movement can impact on the other side of the world, here again she makes the link between different countries.
Diversity of mediums
Alana works in a variety of different materials including ceramics, paint, biro, photography and is now experimenting with printing her designs on clothing.
She is currently working on a project on how human behaviour is controlled especially in the Middle East whereby every time a drink was purchased, she had to produce her passport. "We don't realise how controlled our system of life is," remarked Alana. Immediately, this comment conjured up images of Big Brother, George Orwell's novel "1984" and the increase of technology and monitoring devices. She has just finished displaying her pieces in the Pop Up Shop, Watford, and would like to work with orthopaedic patients in hospital, using art as therapy in the future. In addition, she is the process of setting up her own studio and is available for commissions.
To find out more visit www.alanajenkins.com or alternatively follow the line on facebook:
Interview by MICHELLE TURAEV