Alan Franklin’s drawings and sculptures are a playful exploration of materials and processes, as well as of our perception. Proceeding from a simple strategy and at times the result of laborious repetition, Alan manages to move the familiar towards the delightfully unexptected, creating artful, intriguing and often profoundly meditative pieces of work.
“I have long had an interest in chance and the unpredictable; deviations from an intended perfection, those accidental wobbles. Life is full of them and as much the maker of our destiny as our own design. We strive increasingly for perfection and with ever more sophisticated technology to eliminate the errors. Yet our very existence is the result of circumstance. My work is a kind of celebration of the wobbles and an attempt to orchestrate the various agents of circumstance. For a while I’ve been trying to include more random elements and to contrive conditions where external agents are allowed to be a determinant in the outcome. But it is always a collaboration as I constantly have to decide which accidents are acceptable, like herding sheep or piloting a logjam.
Even with apparent chaos there are rules, factors, and physics, which contribute to the muddled mayhem, but with a minimum of organization the structure of chaos is managed and an aesthetic appears. I find the notion of aesthetics interesting. When does something comply or fit and how are new aesthetics born? Wabi-Sabi, the ancient Japanese aesthetic of impermanence and imperfection embraces the beauty of the incomplete, transience and the contingent and is itself a world view. It looks to nature and the quirks and anomalies in construction, which make things unique as well as processes of decay and entropy, so celebrating the patina of time and use. There is a quiet, meditative appreciation in the subtle variations and irregularities of repeated incidents, gestures and processes all of which I explore in my work. My recent constructions ‘Randoms’, employ adventitious selections of colour and shape with random compositional strategies.” Alan Franklin
Alan has an MA (Fine Art) from Goldsmiths College (1983) and has since exhibited his work on an international arena from London to Japan. His residencies have taken him all over the world from Iceland, Poland, Morocco to the Grizedale Forest in Cumbria.