The notion of transient flickering in between images drives my process. Process and materiality of an image's language is that of the everyday, banal interiors and a city's landscape. Human presence is always visible in its fleeting traces-people however are absent or merely glimpsed from afar windows when someone moves past the camera.

I have systematically removed all human presence in these films, resulting in the remnants of static, so called "pillow shots ". They underline a particular aesthetic of everyday compositions. Laundry blowing in the wind or a clock-slow, passing time is all that is left.

The still nature of the videos themselves, the videos referencing painting and vice versa all come together, sharing a starting point, the frame: All paintings depicted take a film-frame as their source. In IMG (see clip) the empty frame became literal as a sculptural object and then shifted into a formative act of moving it through the landscape of the city and then its documentation in video; a shifting between mediums and processes, the work occupying a gap, an in-between space.

The dialectics between the still and moving, time and duration, as well as a relationship to language is made legible in this format.

Film and painting are to me a site of loss, shadows on a wall, and the impossible attempt at preserving. Time passing is the nature of the medium of film and it shares this element with the language of painting. The constant moving, the emptying of rooms, these "floating existences" ( Baudelaire ) forced by capital, which makes the city's people at once personal and impersonal subjects- encapsulates in the absent, empty images of London's skies, depicted in the loss of subject in the monochromatic works.

The years over which I have filmed different outlooks on the city are all spiked with symptoms of recession, the failure of the capitalist system and the omnipresent but constantly hidden abuse of power. Images play a role in this and all too often they contribute to the illusions to cause fear and manipulate society. It is the notion of absence, that contradictory space between nothing and everything that underlines my work.

Alistair Leys Artist | Painter | Videographer | Photographer

Specialist skills & training

Oil Paint, Acrylic, Watercolour, (direct and indirect), Metalwork (Welding), Woodwork (Hand and power tool, Frames and Stretchers) Cameras (HD Video and 16mm film) Printing (Hi resolution digital and Darkroom) Post Production (Premiere Final Cut and Photoshop)


2011 - 2014 BA (Hons) Fine Art FIRST (1:1)
UAL Central St Martins
2010 - 2011 Foundation Diploma in Fine Art (Distinction)
UAL Byam Shaw School of Art (CSM)
2008 - 2010 A Levels: Art (A*), English Literature (A), General Studies (A*), History (C), Geography (C)