Alan Hathaway is an artist born in London. He is currently based in The North East of England and in Norfolk. His work is held in private collections internationally as well as the British Museum’s drawing and print archive. Using Installation, film and print – he re-presents cultural fragments drawn from abstract painting, punk, post-punk, experimental pop music, science fiction and 1960’s counter culture.
His work examines particular material and technological manifestations of these cultural moments – the redaction of visual information, monochrome colour, analogue audio/video, CRT screen technology, half tone printing etc. In this way his practice considers how his own identity – as well as our collective unconscious – has been shaped by these cultural phenomena both as ideas and as material encounters.
As a teenager growing up in Britain during the 1980s, music offered a compelling alternative to what he describes as his “otherwise limited and claustrophobic, suburban, working class environment”. His early immersion in the Dada and Situationist inspired Reid/Mclaren Sex Pistols project and Manchester’s Factory label are key to understanding his ongoing preoccupation with the way in which appropriation, reductive aesthetics, DIY culture and interdisciplinary activity operate as strategies of social change or disruption. Both projects utilised the language of abstraction through monochrome or reductive record sleeves and the détournement of graphic motifs – but they can also be seen more broadly as inter-disciplinary abstractions of visual art, the music industry, design, fashion, publishing, community, the destructive nature of commerce and definitions of work.
As such, Hathaway continues to utilise the contested formal language of abstraction to create highly reductive artworks, but employs these as signs which point towards other forms of image making, histories, site and most recently performance. The artist sees his work as an attempt to use abstraction as a framework for interrogating and re-imagining historic ideas of resistance – and the material expression of these resistances – in order to generate similarly resistant contemporaneous activity; new ways of “escaping the banal fact of being in the world” (Simon Critchley).