Interview: Alex Connelly, Painter.
[ The Sun Shines And We Return Home, art installation at The Cloud Room, May 2019-August 2019 ]
CR: We are big fans of your work. Can you tell us how you got started as an artist? Started painting?
AC: I began my life in a household that nourished creativity and self-expression. I was a very shy child but the support I felt from my family offered me the safety to explore myself externally at home. I remember loving to arrange “set ups” and working on art projects where I would dedicate hours to becoming lost in my creations. Children contain the power of unfiltered expression and a lot of my abstract work is an attempt to reach back to those early moments of creativity.
CR: What are some themes that come up in your work?
AC: I search for a feeling, a truth in my expression. This can be across any theme or representation but there must be an honesty in the work. I look to the larger considerations of life and death, pain and happiness, adulthood and childhood, and the balance between these themes.
CR: Can you tell us a bit more about your creative process? Do you start with sketching?
AC: My creative process starts in many ways similarly to how it ends, with a search for a feeling. A lot of painting is being in the studio sitting, looking, considering, and inviting inspiration to gather.
Painting is a dance between the artist and the artwork.
CR: Do you work in any other mediums besides painting?
AC: I have explored many different media including photography both analog and digital, illustration, and sculpture. I prefer to allow my creativity the room to use any media that suits the expression rather than confining my artwork to only one medium.
CR: We are excited to have your work in the Cloud Room. Can you tell us a little bit more about this body of work? Does it have a name? What inspired it?
AC: This body of work has all been created over the past two years during my time in Seattle. I have been inspired by this new city, the energy and nature that surrounds us. I develop my shows up until the day that I set them up so there may be some surprises in the mix! My shows always change from what I think they will look like to what they actually look like. It is absolutely essential to curate the pieces that fit the space. A paint stroke on a canvas is to the canvas what a painting in a space is to the space as a whole. Each painting has purpose and each piece must be hung in a way that develops a harmony within the environment of the show.
CR: Where are you from originally? How does this influence your work?
AC: I am from Madison, WI. Madison is a wonderful city, it has provided me with a place that will always be my home. My roots ground my work and allow me a space to return to and expand from without losing the parts of me that I value most.
CR: What are your favorite haunts around Seattle to grab a bite, drink or coffee?
AC: I love Seattle, there are so many incredibly delicious places to venture to! My top places for coffee are Vif and Elm. Both of these coffee shops are fantastic in atmosphere and quality. I find myself in Ballard a lot, the Sunday Farmer’s Market is delightful. One of my favorite things to do is to get outside of the city and explore any of the beautiful areas of nature that we are so fortunate to be close to.
CR: Do you have any favorite museums of gallery where you go to get inspired?
AC: Museums are less of a draw for me than you’d expect. I do like seeing art in person, especially large pieces but most of the time I have a hard time actually being able to focus and experience the artwork in those settings. I gather my inspiration from great conversation, moments of meaning, delicious food, and the wonderful people that are in my life.