Navigation

News and events

UCLan artist portrays utopian world

22 July 2014

Suzanne Gamble

Aimee uses full colour spectrum for psychedelic paintings

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) fine art graduate has paired her love for art and literature together to produce two psychedelic paintings for her final year project.

Within the two paintings 22-year-old Aimee Richards-Davies wanted to portray both a utopian and dystopian psychedelic atmosphere. She wanted to show that through the alteration of the colours, painting techniques and the structure of forms comparative to those existing in our own reality, the mood and tone of this psychedelic other world can be easily transformed from inviting to threatening.

Aimee was influenced by author Aldous Huxley’s books Heaven and Hell and The Doors of Perception. In these books Huxley explains his ideology regarding the over-use of colour in modern culture and how it is no longer mesmerising or other-worldly. There was one main quote from Huxley that really inspired Aimee’s work – “Familiarity breeds indifference. We have seen too much pure, bright colour at Woolworths to find it intrinsically transporting."

"Each of the paintings I exhibited in the UCLan Degree Show portrays an alternative approach to how I would imagine the ‘other world’ would appear, as a testimonial to Aldous Huxley."

Aimee UCLan Degree Show 

Aimee wanted to oppose this argument by adopting excessive colours in her paintings. To complement the use of colour she was also influenced by the psychedelic counter culture of the 1960’s. Aimee then went on to use a combination of psychedelic painting and drawing techniques with a particular emphasis on layers and the involvement of the subconscious mind.

She said: “Each of the paintings I exhibited in the UCLan Degree Show portrays an alternative approach to how I would imagine the ‘other world’ would appear, as a testimonial to Aldous Huxley.”

Other artists influenced Aimee’s work too, including digital artist Jack Hardwicke and visionary artist Alex Grey. She commented: “These two artists inspired the psychedelic styles of my paintings, particularly Hardwicke’s love for pure abstraction and Grey’s use of geometric and repetitive patterns.

“Pure colours have the ability to alter our perception of our surroundings, altering them from relatively commonplace to completely awe-provoking and above all else, my paintings represent how psychedelic worlds are available to everyone”.

She added: “I just hope that I can continue to create work and expand my knowledge of artists working in the psychedelic industry”.