Alke Schmidt’s work combines beautiful form with thought-provoking subject matter. Fusing the roles of the artist as maker and critical citizen, she uses the visually seductive qualities of her works to challenge contemporary social and environmental injustices. Her work also puts those issues in historical context, reflecting Alke’s belief that we must engage with the past to understand – and improve – the world today. In Alke’s works, painting is often intertwined with the decorative patterns of found fabrics, stitch or newsprint, selected for their historical, cultural or symbolic associations. Since completing her MA Fine Art at John Cass School of Art in London, Alke has exhibited widely in solo and group shows in the UK and internationally, working with museums, curators, commercial galleries and non-profit organisations. She is also a strong supporter of local arts initiatives and events such as the annual E17 Art Trail. In 2013 Alke was awarded a grant by Arts Council England to produce a new body of work for a specially commissioned solo exhibition at the William Morris Gallery, London. The exhibition, entitled “Tangled Yarns”, explored the politics of cotton and the global textile industry past and present. Alke’s work is in private collections in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, the U.S. and Australia, as well as in the collections of the City Lit, London, and Walthamstow’s Vestry House Museum. Alke lives and works in East London.
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