In the Studio with Aidan Wallace

Aidan Wallace's multi-disciplinary practice often looks to eradicate assurance of material and perceivable compositions through his works, constantly in pursuit of an unattainable order of alchemical processes. We met with Aidan to tell us more about his practice, when he began to see himself as an artist and growing up in Pittsburgh.

When did you first begin to see yourself as an artist? 
After a traumatic brain injury.

Where are you from and what was your upbringing like? How has this impacted your work?
The space I am in now is so far from where I am from. It is difficult and unnecessary to imagine ‘what ifs’ or ‘how comes’. But I was born in Pittsburgh and I am grateful for my upbringing and all its quirks. I don’t think this particularly affected or impacted my work. In fact, the more distance I get from origins, the closer I feel I get to what I’m pursuing in my life and work. Movement forward, not backward. Certainly a result of, but my meditation on it (origin) lives in the future.
Credit to Tim van den Oudenhoven
Paint us a picture of your artistic journey. Have you gone through the traditional route of art school and what was your experience? 
I went to an art school. Supposedly a good one. I didn’t like it and found it did more bad than good. In regards to an education in art, I think a contemporary institutional prescription is counterintuitive and negligent of authentic pursuit. I prefer and admire non-traditional routes in all things. Art school did give me an EU visa to get out of America, for this I am thankful.
What’s the message of your work? How would you describe your aesthetic?

I wouldn’t describe my aesthetic. I think the worst question for an artist is “What is the style of your art?” or “What type of art do you make?” The very creation and pursuit of making work and the production of communicative pieces of art already has the tendency to box one in. So to then go further and define your message or declare a theme is only limiting the way in which the work itself can be read and received. 

I don’t aim to close my work in definition. The work is inevitably defined by a viewer, I don’t see the value in prescribing meaning beyond the work itself. This happens without me and with me. I aim to annul the self-definitive and invite new ways of seeing and interpreting.

Who and what are your greatest influences?

There are many. I prefer not to say. The work is always in dialogue with the ancestors of the ideas. If you know my work, you likely know who I’m in discourse with. The only benefit in naming names is if a discussion can emerge as a result… Place and Time…

Are your works planned? What do you want people to take from your work when they view it? 

Planned and unplanned.  I want them to take nothing and think anything. I have painting in mind when I’m painting.


What events in your life have mobilised change in your practise? How has your art evolved?

All my life is continually influencing change in my work. My art is always evolving, as am I. I do not limit myself to any medium. I’m always in pursuit of new and wrong or different ways of using. Experimentation always. No parameters but those in my mind. If my work can promote and materialize change around me, then I have no parameters to worry about.

What are your ideal conditions or catalyst for creating a “good” piece of work?

Curious spaces; physical and mental.

What are your goals for the future?

To keep making. To keep collaborating. To keep growing. Non-Stagnancy is essential to me.

How have you been keeping creative during isolation?

I’m in the studio just as before. I believe some impressive art will come of and is being made during this pandemic time. Because of and in spite of.

Credit to Tim van den Oudenhoven


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