Artist of the Month June 2022
Alba Urquia is a London-based printmaker who explores the human condition, caught between the tangible material world and the intangible world of ideas.
Alba is interested in expressing the (sometimes absurd) duality of the human condition caught between the tangible material world and the intangible world of ideas. Aesthetically, she is often drawn to mystic and esoteric symbols, and is currently developing a series that uses imagery of vessels to represent the physical body as a container of consciousness.
Alba has been painting and drawing all her life, but when she entered a printmaking studio for the first time in 2017 she completely fell in love with the medium. “I just got hooked,” Alba explains, “it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.” She spent her final two years of her BA in Graphic Design at the London College of Communication UAL focusing on print, and is currently in her first year of a MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art. Printmaking was life-changing because of the community and versality it provided: “you are surrounded by other people with whom you need to be constantly sharing equipment, this was very nourishing to my art practice, I believe.”
Alba describes her practice as, first and foremost, being driven by process. She is particularly interested in lithography, intaglio processes, and using a combination of different printmaking processes with mixed media. Having acquired a strong foundation in printmaking techniques, Alba now is now experimenting with carborundum – a grit mixed with glue that creates unusual textured tones. She approaches printmaking intuitively and flexibly, usually by sketching designs on paper and then selecting the few that spark her interest: ‘my compositions are stills of little scenes where there is a lot happening; they are quite intriguing not necessarily frightening but more unnerving.”
At the moment, Alba is working towards making a 15-minute stop-motion animation film using her own prints to create individual frames for the film. The project is ambitious, and Alba is relishing taking her time: “I’ve been focused on the pre-production part of it, scriptwriting, story-boarding… I wouldn’t like to rush it.” For her, it’s all about the careful process rather than the end result. As Camus writes, “The absurd creator does not prize his work”; Alba, more than most, is attuned to the ways in which her work, when finished, is no longer under her control.
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