At a time when there is increasing focus and daily exposure to virtual and simulated experience, Alexis is interested in foregrounding physicality and its role in our experiences. She is interested in the relationship between the real and the artificial, materiality and scale. Her practice has sculptural and pictorial elements which are combined in installations of varying scales.
Touch is the building block of our ability to imagine and understand the three dimensional world. It’s a corner stone of child development and a human need. It has contents and is communicative. The simulation of physicality and 3D space is an integral part of our lives and it merges with actual 3D space fluidly.
Recent installations utlise tactile materials and enlarged photographic images of made objects. These elements are 'of the body' and make visible the physicality that runs continuously and often undetected in the background of our daily experiences. They come about through hands-on improvisation with materials, informed by research into the experience of physicality on a micro level that Alexis carries out through dancing (contemporary Limón and Cunningham techniques, and partner dancing): exploring gravity, contact/partnering, how one thing can lean on, impact on or give weight to another, qualities of energy and muscular action.
This has grown out of previous major works which involved the construction of environments in white cube settings and on outdoor sites. These integrated formal elements, fabricated and usually abstract, with made or found objects. Room-filling in scale they required the mobile viewer to explore the scene in order for meaning to unfold over a duration of time. They often involved urgent colour, selected to illicit a physical response in the viewer.
Research includes interviews with leading figures in the conversation between visual art and dance: Siobhan Davies, dance artist and curator/commissioner of interdisciplinary collaborative projects; and Stephanie Rosenthal, Curator, Hayward; and study of Lacanian approaches to psychoanalysis.
In 2010 Alexis participated on a two week-long professional development residency for choreographers at Sadler's Wells called The Big Intensive as part of the Jerwood Studio programme. She is currently part of the London Creative Network artist development programme at SPACE, London, and is exploring how dance might come into the work directly using a series of her written texts about touch as structuring element in close relationships which can define each partner in relation to one another.