The Matter Facts

Artist : Alice Wilson

Preview: Friday 10 November 6-8pm

Exhibition: 22 November-3 December

Times: Friday Saturday Sunday 12-5pm

Alice Wilson Lanark (Ultramarine/Prussian). 2021. spray paint and oil pastel on plywood

“There’s been conflict in the studio for some time, things coming together and falling apart. Sharik, a log with a particularly pronounced personality has placed himself at the top of the stairs and has been telling the other matter facts that he has reached his destination, a ready-made monolith, handsome with a stature akin to Tolkien’s Ent’s. The stack of pine shuttering (who all take their names from song titles by Orbital) thinks Sharik sees himself as Treebeard, leader of the Ent’s. I came in one day recently to find that Kein Trink Wasser had got the whole of Snivilisation to fall over, in an attempt to knock Sharik off his perch, they were unsuccessful.”  Alice Wilson 2023


Coleman Projects is pleased to present The Matter Facts, a solo exhibition by Alice Wilson. This is the first showing of this body of wall-based works and objects, which has arrived out of a period of research, both academic and studio-based. 

“Log portraits” is perhaps the most simple and direct description of this wry, tender and idiosyncratic assembly of material “evidence”. While there is definitely a sense of trying to capture the essence of something about this purposely repetitive series, there appears no attempt to render a likeness or singular “truth” of the subject. Rather, Wilson’s concern appears with the hold of materials and objects over their collectors. Why do artists surround themselves with particular things and how might this esoteric, ever-evolving conversation between the living and the inanimate manifest itself as a fictional conversation? 

Wilson refers to “the hegemonic log” in her writing on the work, acknowledging the shifting dynamics of this exchange, where at times it might feel like the materials themselves are dominating proceedings. As we encounter the log in symbol, trope and real-life form in the different spaces of the gallery, we are invited to explore the vagaries of this evolution. 

In each experiment the artist appears to use only the briefest of formal frameworks to help guide us through, sometimes little or nothing at all, just the actual object and the means of its display. Spray paint directly on the wall barely indicates the CSI body of the log, while the frame itself appears to just about hold the bare bones of a traced line around the object – both at once physically accurate as delineations of the space the form takes up, yet open to pictorial interpretation as marks on a surface. As a motif, it appears to serve sometimes as weather vane; other times vessel for the mood and mode of her enquiry. 

Where do the associative and thingly senses of matter and the factual inventory one might take of their existence begin and end? 

Alice Wilson lives and works in London. Exhibiting widely both nationally and internationally she is represented by domobaal gallery, London. Wilson has received significant funding from the British Council and Arts Council England for research projects and exhibitions in Aarhus, Denmark (2018) and Merz Barn, Cumbria (2017.) Recent exhibitions include KK Trove at SqW Lab, Mumbai, India (2023) and one hundred and eighty nine a solo presentation at 303 projects in Lowestoft, UK (2022). She has work in several collections including the National Maritime Museum and lectures in Fine Art at University of the Arts London, University of East London and on MASS an independent course dedicated to the making of sculpture. 

Alice Wilson


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