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 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 memoires, to create expressive abstract compositions.
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 composition solely for 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 some of his artworks into 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 Stitchwas acquired by the National Wool Museum in Wales, becoming part of their permanent textile collection.
Since 2014 Allistair has been an elected fellow and recipient of a studio with the The Digswell Arts Trust, a 60-year-old arts organisation that is devoted to supporting and developing emerging talent. In early 2017 Allistair was invited to become an elected member of Design-Nation, the premium portfolio for Craft, Design and Product in the UK.
Allistair works, and has worked, with a number of international companies and initiatives including Turquoise Mountain, AfghanMade, Rug-Maker, Craig & Rose and Think Positive Prints UK, alongside working on projects with organisations such as Campaign for Wool, Arts Thread and Calzada Fox.
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.