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The chic abode of AJP Studio’s contemporary artist

Capturing keepsakes of travels past, artist Alex Park brings our memories to life and reminds us of the places we once were.

When visiting the sunny home of beautiful hand-drawn sketches, who nurtured contemporary artist Alex Park, in Sydney’s Inner West, it’s hard not to be transfixed by the dreamy European coastlines and striking linear faces that adorn the chic abode’s walls. But look a little deeper, and you will uncover more than just an idyllic home studio; instead you’ll find an eclectic gallery brimming with memories, many of which are not the artist’s own.

“I fell in love with the idea of capturing nostalgia, and the ways in which memory can transcend time and space,” says Alex. “I want my work to transport the viewer to a sacred moment shared with loved ones, where they can relive memories of holidays past.”

Alex sits proudly below ‘Evergreen’, 1372mm x 1676mm, which radiates a neutral, meditative ambience.

Today, Alex’s trove of memories embellish the walls of a slew of notable clientele. A favourite of Sydney-based podcaster and media personality Zoe Marshall and her Rugby League husband Benji, the artist – who works under the nom de plume AJP Studios – is highly coveted for her distinctive pieces of work and their evocative themes.

Alex’s ability to translate a moment to her canvas was instinctive from an early age, although it was her mother, who would often craft her clothes from beautiful hand-drawn sketches, who nurtured Alex’s eye for beauty and precision.

“My whole studio set up is in one corner,” says Alex of her private sanctuary. “Some of my recent works are larger scale, so I have to work off the wall.”

“I remember sitting in the backyard and Mum would place butcher’s paper across the fence so my sister and I could just go crazy with the paints and make a mess,” recalls Alex.

Alex’s signature line drawing wraps organically around a terracotta vessel.

“I would come home to draw moments from my days spent at the park, the beach and family trips overseas with crayons and paints.” Pairing her Interior Design degree, from the University of Technology Sydney, and her brush skills from a series of painting courses at the National Art School, her creative atelier, AJP Studio, was born in 2018.

‘A Dance of Tones’, 1560mm x 1060mm, takes pride of place as Alex looks the part in complementary beige tones.

Here, Alex carved out her space in the Instagram art scene, where her work was widely received. “It all started when I posted a picture on Instagram of one of my artworks ‘Faces II’, which is a portrait of my four family members,” says Alex, who proudly cherishes these originals among her collection today.

“When I moved into this home, it gave me the freedom and space to frame my work and curate it in a way so that a buyer could envision it in their own home.” Draped in a soft tonal palette and clean line, Alex’s home is a mirror of her work and vision.

Moving throughout the space, which she shares with her boyfriend Jono, visitors can distinctively chronicle her creative process: from her early works of acrylic linear figures on linen, to neutral abstract scenes, with a sense of fluidity and transition permeating throughout.

“I’ve always been someone who likes to play and experiment, rather than get stuck on one particular style,” she explains. “What ties my work together is the minimal, neutral aesthetic and the escapist theme of nostalgia.”

Alex, pictured in her home studio, carefully introduces subtle strokes of pale blue and yellow to capture summers past.

It’s unsurprising that Alex has an impeccable taste for unique pieces and modern design. By day, she works as a full-time fashion buyer for a premium womenswear label, while most of her evenings and weekends are dedicated to her art.

I love working on my porch during the warmer months,” says Alex, pictured here, near the beginnings of ‘Faces I’.

“I make sure art is something that I love to do, rather than another job,” says the talented artist. “Painting is my alone time away from everything and that is when I get lost in it, which is what I really love to do.”

Melds of muted acrylics rest on Alex’s work station.

Working around a tight schedule, Alex exhibits primarily to smaller displays – including a group show earlier this year at Clare Gallery in Sydney’s Double Bay – and private commissions; the latter of which is suited to the nature of her art, due to its strong sentimental nature. This requires Alex to work closely with each client to accurately capture and illustrate a true vision of their memories.

The artist favours thick brush strokes, layering rich textures of acrylic paint.

“I thoroughly research each city I am depicting, so I can truly replicate the essence of that moment,” Alex says of the process. “It often feels as if I have been there by the time I have finished the piece.”

In a time of restricted travel and social isolation, Alex’s work is a lesson of hope, reminding us that to escape and dream we need only look inwards to relive our most precious moments.

“I love to create pieces for others that bring them a sense of nostalgia through my work, whether [the subject] be a place, object or a person.”

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