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'Outlaw Vortex', Alex Pollard

Dark black and grey painting dominated by a bearded male figure

oil on canvas, 50.5 x 61 cm


'My work is concerned with the possibilities and limitations created by studio-based working practice rather than the dead ends which result from the slavish illustration of theory. It is, however, informed by extensive research into argots, alternative publications, and marginalised artistic groups (such as the Vorticists) with marginalisation’s aesthetic and organisational implications.

I’m principally involved with the idea of invented languages: languages developed and transmuted by people outside of normative behaviour, such as samizdat literature, thieves’ argot and gay palare, which are invented to communicate within a small group of initiates, excluding those outside the set of rules. I like the idea that within these limits new forms of expression become possible, bypassing negative reflection on semantic free-fall.

Outlaw Vortex was made by manipulating an existing painting of Robin Hood by Richard Dadd. The image of this was twisted on a photocopier, creating a low-budget vortex, from which I started painting. My aim is to draw upon ruralist and folkloric subject-matter and present it in a brutal, romantic manner.'


Alex Pollard was born in Brighton in 1977. He studied at Brighton College of Technology in 1995 and Glasgow School of Art in 1996-99. He was Artist in Residence at Glasgow School of Art 2001-2 and held a solo show there in August 2002. Other recent exhibitions include Haunted Swing Collective Gallery Edinburgh 2003, Positeeve eemages Andrew Mummery Gallery London 2003 (solo), Aperto Scotland Prague Biennale 2003, East International Norwich 2003 and Transmission Gallery Glasgow 2004.