Alan Magee

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Alan Magee explores the notion of human agency in our pre-built environment: how people may take hold of that material world and reform it to their own specifications, needs, and desires. His concerns are about empowerment and the questioning of received wisdom. A recent project has seen Magee working with residents in a housing estate in London, where he offered his services as an artist in such an open ended way that it critiqued usual notions of an artist in residence or community artist. Residents asked Magee to help in diverse ways, from creating drawings for a child, to fixing a broken remote control toy. Magee’s practice takes in drawing, installation and video work. He also re-engineers DIY furniture from shops such as Argos into functionless but poised and elegant sculptural works: one dramatic incarnation of his inventive sculptural imagination is given in a circular structure built from cheap wooden clothes horses. Magee’s interest in wood is connected with its familiarity and its seemingly endless recyclability: when a wooden object’s initial use is over, the fibres can be torn apart and glued back together into new implements, furnishings or art works.



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