Alex Seton’s artistic practice incorporates photography, video, sculpture and installation to investigate the complex relationship between form and substance. He is best known for his beguiling marble carving, applying his refined craftsmanship to unexpected forms. Blankets, hoodies, inflatables and national flags are rendered in stone, invoking a somatic paradox. By infusing the rich heritage of Classical statuary with contemporary concerns, Seton gives weight to the issues we face here and now.
The creative process itself is interrogated in shows such as Roughing Out (Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, 2013) and Replicator (Tweed River Art Gallery, 2014), in which Seton explored his practice through performance, video and participatory works. In his most recent bodies of work, life jackets and poolside toys become potent reminders of Australia’s troubling policies pertaining to asylum seekers.
Seton’s exploration of this issue began in 2013 with his major installation Someone died trying to have a life like mine, created for the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart, at the Art Gallery of South Australia. It was further developed in his 2014 solo exhibition Refoulement at Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney and the travelling exhibition Last Resort at McClelland Gallery & Sculpture Park, Victoria, Linden New Art, Melbourne and Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhampton (2014-2015) and most recently in his solo exhibition The Journey at Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris (2015) and Paper Armada Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane (2015).
Seton has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. His work has been exhibited in the last five Art Basel | Hong Kong and Art HK fairs and his solo exhibition Elegy on Resistance was presented at Art HK in 2012. His most recent international solo show The Journey was shown at Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris in 2015. Other notable solo exhibitions include As of Today, Australian War Memorial, Canberra (2014-15). Recent group exhibitions include Refuge, Verge Gallery, Sydney (2015), Sealed Section, Artbank, Sydney (2014-15), Gifted Artists: Donations by Patrick Corrigan AM, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2014), Conflict: Contemporary Responses to War, University of Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (2014) and Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2014), Australia: Contemporary Voices, The Fine Art Society Contemporary, London (2013) and Gravity of Sculpture: Part II, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, New York (2013).
Seton was granted the Inaugural Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence, Margaret Olley Art Centre, Tweed River Art Gallery, Murwillumbah, in 2014.