Between the 4th April - 30th April Alan's latest series of work will be on show in the gallery at The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven. There are 18 pieces in total on the topic of Aliens:
Martian Skies is not only the title of this show, but it is the name of a household paint, which comes in six shades. Each painting in the show is undertaken using those shades that make up the test card.
Before the colour, were the words which are the manufacturers’ description. This was my first contact with what rattled something inside my head. The words Martian Skies instantly portrayed visual memories of science fiction films that I have watched over the years. Each scene came to mind where humans have interacted with alien species and the varying feeling of either awe or horror.
The series of science fiction posters (Each painting is cinema poster scale.) begin with The War of the Worlds and continue through until Avatar. Each painting represents a different decade so it begins in the 1950’s and continues until 2000’s. The films were chosen on what they made me and I’d like to think other moviegoers feel. These feelings would alter (Including special effects) during the decades. I would like to surmise that The War of the Worlds symbolised outright attack from a new superpower (No coincidence during The Cold War.). 2001: A Space Odyssey apart from a new sense of realism, it also represented a psychological response to an alien entity. Alien revealed the horror and silent detachment of space. E.T. created an alien lifeform that was approachable and likeable, if not mainly by the child cast. Independence Day reverts back to earlier 1950’s all-out war movie. Avatar has the technical availability of special effects to take the viewer into the alien’s world. So throughout these decades the way we have looked towards the skies has varied greatly. The text painting situated near these poster paintings has captured specific lines from each of the six films.
Alongside the sci-fi film posters are another series which also relates to Martian Skies. I came across an article of a photographer Steven Hirsch who took a series of portraits of people who had said they were abducted by aliens. So I undertook a series of paintings that interpreted his images utilising the six shades I was using. The series of six portraits I have purposely chosen to give each person a single shade for their eyes, which become lighter as you look from left to right. This gave them a more alien appearance, and because of their comments has alienated themselves from everyday society. The square text painting nearby also highlights some of their confessions, which correlate to their specific colour of eye. I found some of their comments more disturbing than a lot of the imagery we witness in the sci-fi films. The series of portraits in the café area that have their words painted across each face, the gentleman with the moustache is Travis Walton, whose personal story was made into a film entitled Fire In The Sky. So here both subject matters have merged.
Finally do I believe? I think after immersing myself in the whole genre of alien interaction/abduction the Martian is very much in our human psyche and I will be always a little wary of what may appear from with our skies.