In 2019 the exhibition, Allistair Covell: Canvas To Carpet, was the first public display of a small selection of 3D plasticine sculptures, an experimental direction Covell has been slowly developing since late 2016.
These mini sculptures sparked the inspiration behind an ongoing series called Colour / Shape / Music, incorporating paintings on canvas and paper, iPad drawings and a selection of hand-knotted carpets.
PLAY I, PLASTICINE SCULPTURE on ceramic tile, 2018
Covell describes the colourful plasticine sculptures as miniature three-dimensional paintings or ‘Objects d’Art’, bridging the gap between painting on a surface and crafting shapes in 3D.
Covell’s plasticine sculptures, similar to his painted artworks, are based on his immediate synaesthesic responses to music, songs and sound, and owing to the nature of the material, are able to change or alter composition during the building process.
Initially created as an extension of Covell’s ongoing ‘canvas to carpet’ body of work and inspired by Covell’s 2D artworks, the first plasticine maquette in 2016 was developed into a series of watercolour paintings. Drawn on paper, the forms became more abstract and simplistic in composition with each iteration, moving away from the source material. A series of heavily stylised iPad drawing interpretations followed, creating a more simplistic pop-art aesthetic while paying homage to the plasticine material.
One original watercolour was selected and translated into a hand-knotted carpet, aptly called C.S.M, an abbreviation of Colour Shape Music. Hand-knotted in Nepal using New Zealand wool in collaboration with Rug Maker, C.S.M’s subtle difference in pile height between the layered and background colour reflects and respects the original sculptures three-dimensional origins.
3D painting, the ORIGINAL 3D PLASTICINE SCULPTURE, 2016
3D painting (back view), the ORIGINAL 3D PLASTICINE SCULPTURE, 2016
3D painting (back view), water colour sketch, 2016
SKETCH BOOK DEVELOPMENT WORK FOR C.S.M CARPET, 2016 – 2018
C.S.M, ipad drawing INTERPRETATION, 2017
C.S.M, hand-knotted nepalese CARPET, 2017
Flat composition II, PLASTICINE SCULPTURE on ceramic tile, 2018
PLAY I (alternative view), PLASTICINE SCULPTURE on ceramic tile, 2018
PLAY II, ipad drawing in colour, 2020
PLAY II (Back View), ipad drawing in monotone, 2020
Musical shapes, PLASTICINE SCULPTURE, 2016
Musical shapes (alternative view), PLASTICINE SCULPTURE, 2016
musical shapes, ipad drawing, 2016
MUSICAL shapes, sKETCH BOOK DEVELOPMENT WORK, 2016
MUSICAL shapes, large EMULSION painting on calico, 2019
A natural extension to his vibrant and energetic painted abstract compositions, it was whilst experimenting with plasticine that inspired Covell to create the low-relief wooden sculpture ‘Origins’, commissioned by Craig & Rose Paints and Calzada Fox for the London Design Fair in 2018. The ‘Origins’ commission is featured in Projects.