Ali Iscan is exhibiting in ‘Starting Again’ at 18 Peach Grove.
We asked Ali some questions about art.
Julie: Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the Leytonstone Arts Trail in 2016.
Ali Iscan: I will be showcasing my most recent life drawings – including 3D sculptures, portraits, and mixed media paintings.
Julie: This is the 9th LAT. Have you taken part in the Trail before and what did you do?
Ali Iscan: I took part in the LAT in 2013 and it was a great experience where I was able to showcase my most recent mixed media paintings.
Julie: Tell us a little bit about your artistic background/education.
Ali Iscan: Art was always present in my life since I was a child and my interest in it never faded. I completed my Fine Art A level here in London a few years back, but I was also a former art teacher. Nevertheless, there was a period of 20 years where I didn’t draw or paint as I was working other jobs. I started drawing again in 2004 at the Walthamstow Centre. I began taking thousands of photographs with my camera and have collected many hundreds that inspire me every day. I am now 59 years old and more confident with my art than ever and for the past few years I have been feeling great.
Julie: How would you describe your art practice? What kind of things inspire you to create art?
Ali Iscan: I try not not confine my subject matter. For me the world dances from moment to moment and it is this which challenges my images and inspires my work. My ultimate goal is very simple and that is to make drawings from direct observation and incorporate my imagination for it to evolve from something that I see to something that I feel.
Julie: You work in many media: mixed media, oil, acrylic pencil, print and ceramic painting. For each project how do you decide which one to work in?
Ali Iscan: I find deciding between mediums very difficult – it definitely becomes a process. Sometimes it can be imminent because what best presents the idea is one particular style or medium and it will be just how I had envisioned it. The medium will either dictate the project or the project will dictate the medium, other times they go hand in hand.
There will also be times where an idea may not work and this is where experimenting comes in which is important to any developing idea. There are a hundred different ways you can approach a project to bring it to life. There are hundreds of ideas in my head ready to be painted, drawn or printed but there really isn’t one way to go about it. Experimentation is key.
Julie: How would you describe a good day in the studio?
Ali Iscan: A good day is any productive day. At the moment my workshop is filled with frames and canvases I made myself that are ready to be worked on. The greatest days however are whenever I get to paint, I find it very therapeutic.
Julie: What challenges (if any) do you face in preparing yourself and your work for the Trail?
Ali Iscan: Finding readily available material is always a challenge because I work in bulk and materials run out quickly.
Julie: Do you collect art?
Ali Iscan: No.
Julie: Please tell us something you really like about Leytonstone.
Ali Iscan: The increasing art culture I see everyday is what I love about Leytonstone. There is a huge emphasis on the arts and it is great to see a community so interested and involved. I am thankful for the LAT and I would love to see more exhibition opportunities for upcoming artists.
Julie: Besides the Trail, what is coming up next for you and where can we see more of your art in the flesh or on-line?
Ali Iscan: I will soon be selling all my art, both original and print, where all the proceeds will go charity, excluding frames which are optional.
You can keep updated on this, and upcoming new art on my twitter page and blog: