The artworks shown on this website are by Alastair Tatton.
Currently based in Edinburgh, his works are in private collections in Britain and Germany.
The following statement, written in November 2012, is his account of the evolution of his practice over time.

 

Looking back on forty years of continually making artworks, it’s apparent that there’s been one aim I’ve been consistently pursuing throughout. That aim has been to create “satisfyingly beautiful completeness,” that quality having always seemed to me to be the most rewarding which artworks can convey. After about ten years, I realised that this quality is conveyed only through composition, and that although composition is essentially only an interaction of elements contrived for effect, very few of the thousands of compositions I had by then seen, and heard, and made, seemed to me to have that quality. These realisations seemed to present a mystery so fundamental and intriguing that it had to be investigated, so I began doing that, and have continued ever since.

Specialising in painting at art school, two aspects of that discipline were of greatest interest to me ; the inherent expressive beauty of painted and drawn marks, and the evocative power of colour interactions. This led to a manner of painting which was largely improvisational, gestural, and rooted in abstract-expressionism. Continuing in that manner after art school I soon found that the results tended to have insufficient compositional complexity to be satisfactory, so began experimenting to find ways of reaching more satisfactory results.

Over the preceeding years I had occasionally used collage to good effect, and had always particularly relished the compositional freedom which that allowed, so I turned to that again. Before long, I began to find that the principles of collage could be extended very fruitfully by using translucent and transparent materials on which I had painted and drawn.

To preserve resultant collages I began photographing them. This was before the advent of digital photography, so I soon found that there were few ways in which the photographs could be used, but projecting slides so as to superimpose elements of painting and drawing upon each other proved to be of some use as a way of further extending the principles of collage. When digital photography became available, a few years later, and I started experimenting with that, it very soon became apparent that this allowed far greater scope for further extending the principles of collage by making it possible to reproduce elements of painting and drawing and collage as prints. This seemed to open up new compositional possibilities in a very big way.

Initially I was using only a digital camera and an inkjet printer, which soon proved insufficient to access most of the possibilities which digital technology appeared to allow, and it became very apparent that the key to the greatest possibilities would be a computer. Investigation of digital imaging software showed that learning to use that in the ways I wanted to would be a very long and slow process, so I put off tackling that for several years.

During that time I acquired a digital sampler/sequencer and found that it opened up possibilities for music composition which seemed exactly analogous to those I had been finding by using digital means for visual composition. This very strongly confirmed my long-held belief in there being close kinship between the two forms of composition, and led to the making of BELONGINGS, an experimental presentation, as video film, of paintings, drawings, collages, and music, accumulated over the preceeding years of wide-ranging experiment.

The video film was completed in 2002, and was made with analog equipment, no other being accessible. During the making it became very apparent that digital equipment would have allowed a far better result, far more easily, so the attractions of digital technology had increased still further, leading eventually to taking the plunge of getting a computer in 2006.

As anticipated, the learning curve necessary to gain sufficient expertise with digital media to be able to do what I wanted to do was very long and steep, taking almost two years to make much progress, but that major investment of time has since proved very worthwhile. The new compositional possibilities first glimpsed through using digital camera with inkjet printer in 1997 eventually became fully accessible to me ten years later, and have been proving to be no less valuable than first supposed.

 

to be continued …………

 


CV


1973 - 78
Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen

1976    summer residency scholarship at Hospitalfield House, tutored by Peter Blake
            subsequent group exhibition at the Saltire Society, Edinburgh
1977    Diploma in Art (Drawing & Painting)
1978    Post-Graduate Diploma in Drawing & Painting (highly commended)
1979
acquired studio/workshop in Edinburgh
short-listed for the Scottish Arts Council’s Amsterdam Studio Bursary
1979 - 80
employed as Art Instructor, Lothian Regional Social Work Department
1981
short-listed for Contemporary Abstraction exhibition at Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
1979 - 86
self-employed, in collaborative partnership with Iain M Clark, as EDINBURGH MURALS, making commissioned wall-paintings for interiors, also a member of THE BUCKET FAMILY, an experimental music ensemble, making collaborative compositions performances and recordings
1986 - 96
experimenting with ways of extending the principles of collage in search of more effective means of compositional development
making commissioned artworks
1996 - 00
experimenting with digital sampling and sequencing in music composition
making commissioned artworks
2000 - 02
making BELONGINGS, an experimental presentation, as video-composition, of accumulated paintings, drawings, collages, and music
2002 - 08
experimenting with digital imaging as a means of developing the ideas initially explored in BELONGINGS
2008 - 10
creating EYEMUSIC ARTWORKS website and associated digital-print production facilities
2011
inclusion of an early work in the archive of the Public Catalogue Foundation
2012
group exhibition POSTCARDS TO JAPAN shows a small-scale version of ‘A Beatific Coquette’ at museums in Iwate and Fukushima, Japan

solo exhibition EYEMUSIC at Art Upstairs, Edinburgh, 4 - 28 September

group exhibition RSA OPEN shows ‘A Reincarnation of a Prophet’s Wife’ in Edinburgh