Allistair Covell is an award-winning British artist whose practice is an exploration of colour and pattern on a surface. Allistair creates vibrant and rhythmic abstract paintings that are inspired by his synaesthesic responses to music and sound.
Synaesthesia is a neurological phenomenon, a condition best described as ‘a union of the senses’ where one sensory experience prompts another. This can affect people in different ways and for Allistair, his synaesthesia grants him the ability to ‘hear’ colour so music appears to him as an ever-changing audiovisual landscape. Musical instruments, song melodies and vocals appear as rich colours, moving shapes and layered textures.
Allistair fuses his synaesthetic experiences with traditional painting subject matter, such as recordings of people and places, even memories, creating expressive abstract compositions.
The Artist’s studio, Digswell Arts Trust, 2017
In January 2014 Allistair won the inaugural AfghanMade Best Young Designer Award at the 9th Carpet Design Awards at Domotex Hannover in Germany. The award was Allistair’s first experience of creating a design that would be translated into a woven surface. Driven by a fascination of the artistic heritage and traditional techniques involved in making carpets, Allistair began to work with weavers in Afghanistan and Nepal to translate a selection of his artworks into a series of hand-knotted carpets, creating textile interpretations of his vivid abstract paintings.
In 2015 Allistair’s work received royal recognition from HRH The Prince of Wales when his digitally printed textile work Digital Stitch was acquired by the National Wool Museum in Wales, becoming part of their permanent textile collection.
Allistair has worked with a number of international organisations, companies and initiatives including Turquoise Mountain, AfghanMade, Rug-Maker, Craig & Rose Paints and Think Positive Prints UK, alongside working on projects with organisations such as Campaign for Wool, Arts Thread, the Letchworth Heritage Foundation and the colour consultancy company Calzada Fox.
Memory Colour / Colour Memory preparation work, studio at the Digswell Arts Trust, 2018
Since early 2017 Allistair has been an elected member of Design-Nation, the premium portfolio for Craft, Design and Product in the UK.
Allistair is a Trustee of The Digswell Arts Trust, an arts organisation which for over 60 years has supported the development of emerging artists. From 2014 – 2019 he was an elected fellow of Digswell Arts and had a studio based in Hertfordshire.
Allistair is a graduate of the University of the Arts London with a BA (Hons) in Surface Design and also holds a Foundation Degree with Distinction in Fashion and Textile Design from the University of Bedfordshire.
Step into Allistair’s world of colour and pattern with his Instagram account, where new artworks are shown alongside archival paintings and design or follow him on Twitter for news and exhibition updates.
Studio wall at the Digswell Arts Trust, 2017