Alexandra uses colour and symbol in a manner that references late-modern abstraction in order to paint internal portraits. The figures are rendered close to life size. There is no attempt to capture a physical likeness, rather her aim is to portray a person’s character. These portraits are of solitary individuals or of several people: a distillation of a moment in a person’s life or the depiction of a relationship.
Many thin glazes of oil paint are applied to canvas or board until a figure begins to emerge (the paintings are unplanned, no image being laid down beforehand). Despite this lack of premeditation, the figures are based on people she knows – family, friends or herself.
During her childhood in Greece Alexandra was deeply influenced by Byzantine icons and Cycladic sculpture; their simplicity of form and strength of spirit influence her approach to the human figure. More recently, she has added gold metal leaf to the materials she uses, thus reflecting even more closely the icons she would have seen in Greek churches and chapels during her childhood.
Another important influence are her grandmother, Jo Jenks’ sculptures, and more particularly one of her stone carvings depicting a female figure which stood in the garden of Alexandra’s family home for many years.
She has been exhibiting in private and public galleries in the Borders since 2007, as well as in group shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Prior to this she also exhibited in the U.S. and Greece. She has work in private collections in the US, the UK, Greece and Germany.
Alexandra Warren currently lives and works in Stow in the Scottish Borders.