Ally McIntyre returns to London shores with ‘Decaf Honey’, marking a new departure in the young artists work. After three sell-out solo shows with Jealous, Ally returns to Jealous East with new paintings and an exclusive screenprint edition, created in Jealous Print Studios.
I have a neglected spider plant in the studio that has survived with little water, under fluorescent lighting for months. I understand this natural phenomenon makes rational sense, but to me the spider plant thriving in a hostile environment became a strange testament to resiliency. I mindlessly and cathartically began to paint the spider plant and took delight in the exercise of painting this subject. That was the conception of my upcoming show ‘Decaf Honey’. The body of work that succeeded is about how all things grow; examining the strength that lies in resiliency and determinism. In the pinnacle of destruction and despair, resiliency is hope, and without hope there is death. The plant and its ability to transcend garbage circumstances and adapt and grow despite these hang ups becomes an emblem for human’s resilient nature and heart.
This new series is a departure from my older work as it has a main preoccupation with still life and observational study. Exploring the botanical realm, I am able to conceptualize this resiliency and play with genre to generate obstacles and opportunity for growth to occur on the canvas. The process is intuitive and begins with the rendering of a plant and eventually leads to destruction, or deviation from the subject, going back and forth until it reaches a harmony. This process mimics the experience of growth, by responding and adapting to the marks that are laid down and which challenge its assumed path; despite external factors, manipulation and environment, the plants still grow and continue to exist. The plant becomes a silent but admirable subject existing symbiotically with humans, sustaining us, as we sustain them, without them we die.
After graduating in Painting and Sculpture from University of Alberta in 2013 Ally McIntyre exhibited in several exhibitions including at Latitude53, Nexfest Emerging Artists Festival, and the Works International Art and Design Festival with a major sculptural installation in Edmonton’s City Hall. She then completed the MA Fine Art course at the prestigious Goldsmiths University of London, where she was awarded the Jealous Prize 2014/2015 and HIX Award 2015 .
Ally McIntyre’s work rebels against the constraints the art canon has imposed on painting. She reinvents her subjects through large dimensions, bright colours and an unconventional pairing of mixed media and styles. Bold and assertive, her work stands up to the prevalent association of large-scale art with the male artist. Confident brush strokes envelop glimpses of realism and dissolve faces into playful combinations of dream-like colour, line and glitter. Ally’s work is an amalgamation of various genres across history; faux-naive, realism, kitsch, expressionism, and cartoon. The subject and narrative of her work often has to do with the structure of hierarchy in culture, art, human-animal relations, and somehow circumventing or looking at it in a new way, that can place importance on a subject that may otherwise not be considered honourable or iconic.
Her work is placed in many public and private collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum Permanent Print Collection, where her Jealous Prize winning screenprint ‘Ferdinand’ joins the growing archive of Jealous Prize winner’s prints.