Our next graduate of the class of 2013 is based in south-east London, but her heart lies way over on the west coast of the USA if her work is anything to go by. Alice Tye studied illustration at Camberwell but has worked with paint and lithography to create her Californian scenes, re-imagined through the prism of how America’s golden coast is presented to us by the films, TV shows and books which immortalise it.
Her lithographs hum with an unsettling tension, that behind the sunny facades lies something darker, her four-metre long concertina fold-book of La Jolla Road in Palm Springs created via Google Street View images does likewise. Her dissertation project started with the premise: “Is modernist architecture used as visual shorthand for malevolent characters in popular films?” and she has recreated scenes from the likes of Diamonds Are Forever and LA Confidential with real flair.
We are not the first to recognise Alice’s talent as she was a runner-up in this year’s V&A Student Illustration Awards, losing out to fellow Camberwell alumnus Grace Helmer, whose painterly illustrations were showcased in last year’s Graduates. Clearly there’s something in the water down there; we asked Alice a few questions to find out more…
Why or who or what made you go to art school?
I knew I wanted to study art from before GCSEs and my family is quite creative – my brother is a photographer, my sister is a dancer and my mum is a graphic designer and photographer – so I guess I’ve always been interested in art and design! I think that when I was choosing which college to study my foundation course at I realised that illustration and design were the best choice for me as I find it difficult to make work without a purpose so brief driven work is ideal for me!
What’s the best mistake you made when you were studying?
I spent a lot of time procrastinating by watching a huge array of films but then that turned into research for my dissertation and then into my third year project!
If you could show you your work to one person, who would you choose and what would you show them?
Bruno Munari – I’m not sure exactly what I would show him but I’ve always loved his design and his books. I’d just love to hear what he thinks about my paintings and be able to ask him more about his writing on design and its crossover with art, which is still relevant today with the changing face of illustration.
Can you give us one prediction about your work for the next year?
I will be working collaboratively with six other Camberwell illustration grads as a studio – so watch this space. And also I’ll be continuing to make work by myself – I’ve got a few projects that I’m currently starting, including more film-related paintings…
What’s the best thing you saw in the last three years?
We are very pleased that The It’s Nice That Graduates 2013 is once again being supported by Represent Recruitment who are themselves celebrating being ten years old this summer. The graphic design recruitment specialists have developed a peerless reputation working with designers of all levels and matching them up with the right positions in some of the top agencies around. Represent’s support has helped us grow the Graduates scheme over recent years and we are thrilled they have partnered with us again in 2013.