Allistair Covell is an award-winning artist who creates vibrantly colourful and rhythmic abstract paintings, inspired by his synaesthesic responses to sound. Synaesthesia is a neurological phenomenon, a condition best described as ‘a union of the senses’ where one sensory experience prompts another. For Covell synaesthesia grants him the ability to see colour upon hearing sound, describing music through gestural brush strokes and creating bold shapes, perfectly capturing the spontaneity and abstract fluidity of music on a surface. Covell’s painted artworks are also abstract recordings of places, people and events.
In 2014 Covell won the inaugural Best Young Designer Award at the 9th Carpet Design Awards at Domotex Hannover in Germany. The award was Covell’s first experience of creating a composition for a carpet and driven by a fascination of the artistic heritage and traditional techniques involved in making carpets, he slightly refocused his practice to include translating some of his painted artworks into woven textile pieces.
In 2015 Covell received royal recognition from HRH The Prince of Wales when his textile artwork ‘Digital Stitch’, created in collaboration with Think Positive Prints UK, was acquired by the National Wool Museum in Wales.
In February 2019 Covell’s first major solo exhibition Canvas To Carpet opened at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City. The exhibition, which ran for 3 months, was a survey of his creative practice over a period of five years and presented abstract paintings and drawings alongside a series of hand-knotted carpets, handcrafted in Afghanistan by Turquoise Mountain and in Nepal by Rug Maker.
In June 2019, Covell was invited by Turquoise Mountain to present Canvas To Carpet: The Afghan Edit during the HALI Fair at the Mall Galleries in London, part of the HALI London Festival. Canvas To Carpet: The Afghan Edit focused on four of Covell’s hand-knotted carpets handmade in Afghanistan by artisans supported by Turquoise Mountain. The mini exhibition was a celebration of the technical artistry of the Afghan weavers, showcasing their skill of translating Covell’s painted splashes of colour and expressive brush strokes into woven knots, highlighting and affirming Afghanistan’s rich carpet making heritage.
Covell is graduate of the University of the Arts London and the University of Bedfordshire, holding degrees in Fashion and Textile Design and currently a fellow of the Digswell Arts Trust, a 60-year-old arts organisation that supports emerging artists.
In 2017 Digswell Arts celebrated its 60th Anniversary and notable alumni include the weaver Peter Collingwood, the ceramicist Hans Coper, the sculptor John Mills and painter Michael Andrews.
Campaign for Wool
Craig & Rose Paints
Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation
Think Positive Prints UK
BA Hons Surface Design – University of The Arts London
FdA with Distinction in Fashion & Textile Design – University of Bedfordshire