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Alan Ibell

Alan Ibell is a painter currently based in Auckland. He studied Painting at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art in Dunedin, and spent several years in Melbourne before returning to New Zealand in 2016. Ibell has been a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards and received 1st prize in the City of Dunedin Art Awards and the Edinburgh Realty Art Award.

Ibell is interested in painting as narrative and uses figuration as a way to convey a poetic or abstract visual experience. To this end he casts imagery from dreams, memories, personal anxieties and existential musings into the works to create absurd human narratives about transition and the search for fulfilment, be it spiritual or other. The painting takes on the form of an object upon which to meditate, a space for contemplation. In Ibell’s work the psychology of the spatiality is constructed in a manner that guides the viewer to a psychological space. Teasing out colonial anxieties there feels a need for connection, romanticising isolation, something that feels both intimate and very distant. Mid-century rural Aotearoa with a Sisyphean spin and a delicate pastel color palette. Recent exhibitions have pushed the importance of the architectural aspect of his work into the installation of the paintings themselves.