Graduates 2023: Alexander Ardisson: Painting

“This course is perfect if you want to pursue your artistic expression whilst having no limits. I chose it because I knew I had enough passion and curiosity to carve my own path.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

“I alternate between a few different things so that I am consistently stimulated, they tend to crossover and inform one another. These are my painting/collage practice, digital & charcoal drawings, and embroidery onto second-hand jumpers.


“My current painting practice is sewing large collages, using my favourite parts from my impulsive paintings. It feels like I am designing a large journal page. When initially making the paintings onto stretched canvas, not expecting to eventually cut them up, I’ve been painting from childhood memories of Sardinia, life drawings, automatic iPad drawings and English pick-up basketball stereotypes. When taking canvas cut-outs to the collages, I let go of any narratives that I previously tried to show and used them as shapes and colours to create something different altogether. By contrasting my fast-paced paintings with the laborious task of sewing, it gives my paintings a pace that pleases me. I strive to achieve immediate impact.”

“My digital and charcoal drawings allow me to continuously draw. The easily erasable nature of charcoal and the digital capabilities of the iPad allow me to draw whilst not treating the drawings preciously. The iPad drawings tend to be preliminary works which I take into my paintings, whilst the charcoal works create animations. Using the charcoal drawings for animations give me digital access to every alteration which is very helpful.

“The embroidery of 2nd hand jumpers began by considering my dual identity. I mimicked brands such as kappa, Lotto, diadora and gola. This sportswear is cheap, it is technically Italian, but adopted by English football fans. I am an Italian adopted by English. I am a crappy Italian who is actually English.

“The jumpers have since evolved into experimental endeavours, prompting me to question the limits of what I can incorporate onto them and whether such elements harmonize effectively. Most recently, I have been bouncing a lot of imagery from my paintings and iPad drawings onto the jumpers.

“My influences include Food packaging, boot fairs, impressionism, commercial design, quotidian items, work wear, war propaganda, off-licenses, pizzerias, washing up liquid, cheap sportswear, Manpreet Ahluwalia, glitches, the book ‘street sketchbook’ by Tristan Manco, football sticker books, cheap food vendors, low quality digital graphics, Dall-e, stereotypes, Egon Schiele, memes & the men who stand outside gigs and sell bootleg merchandise.”

How have you found your course and what made you choose it?

“The course has been the best choice I could have made, after my foundation, feeling somewhere in between a painter, illustrator, and graphic designer, I went on to study graphic design for one year at Central Saint Martins. I was particularly happy I was introduced to animation and product packaging, but I desired much more creative freedom. This course is perfect if you want to pursue your artistic expression whilst having no limits. I chose it because I knew I had enough passion and curiosity to carve my own path.”

Was the location of your course in Brighton more important than you thought it would be?

“Yes, it is very central, and I have access to everything I’d need in the day, there are always unexpected items you need when studying fine art painting. Being an artist relies on interactions and soaking up your surroundings, The University being so well located means you never miss out on the unique flair that Brighton has to offer.”

Did you do a placement?

“I did not do a placement; I have consistently been doing commissioned designs and illustrations though which has begun to prepare me for future employment.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“I am undoubtedly going to persistently pursue my creative urges, but to be completely honest, I am just in search of experience and adventure. I am open to all opportunities that take me out of my comfort zone and would love to end up somewhere where it is sunny in January.”

If you could give your 16 year old self any advice about going to University what would it be?

“Don’t think too much about employment, there are plenty of jobs you could get that pay your bills. Go to do the course that will encourage you to make work that brings you satisfaction.”

Alexander’s website


Instagram @alexanderardisson

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