We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Stenhouse and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alex, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It’s funny – throughout my life I don’t know how consciously I was going down the path of a creative career. None of my family work in what you might call ‘creative careers’, but I always felt I did my best in the arts and humanities subjects at school. I studied English Literature at University, and got involved in student radio, film and theatre. At some point I realised that I was spending all my free time on theatre and film projects, and how great that would be if that were my job.

And yet, looking back at my childhood, I was always being creative, be it drawing something, writing little stories and comics, performing puppet shows, building LEGO, making short films with my friends. As I got older I wrote songs and performed in plays, fell in love with movies and novels and poetry.

With hindsight, it feels slightly inevitable rather than any big ‘decision’ I came to. I’ve always just worked hard and pursued what I enjoyed the most, and I suppose that’s led me to where I am today. Perhaps there’s something in that – that subconsciously I’ve always felt drawn to art, and art’s power to connect with others and express oneself.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’m interested in creating bold artistic work filled with sincerity and humanity. Having grown up surrounded by ironic postmodern art, I look to create art that attempts to be truly meaningful, even if through postmodernism we understand that is ultimately impossible. As a culture we are so used to irony as the norm, that creating truly sincere art is much more disruptive than ever before, and I think vital in trying to understand our modern contradictory world and look to the future.

I am fascinated artistically by spontaneity, raw-ness and honesty. In theatre I am fascinated by the ‘live moment’. I find the unique night-to-night liveness of theatre is what makes it a truly special art form, and I love that the theatre is always imperfect and transient. I love the Wabi Sabi idea of celebrating imperfections as proof of a human touch and that speaks a lot to the type of work I like to make.

I love form, both in terms of formal narrative structure, but also in terms of artistic medium. I love theatre and film, as well as so many other mediums like books and music, and often I find the medium itself inspires me through it’s unique strengths and limitations.

I think a lot of my art is about trying to create an intimate emotional experience, and in telling small stories, creates ripples that resonate much wider.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If they were visiting London, I wouldn’t shy away from the classic sights. I think cliches are often cliches because they have some inner truth. I still get excited every time I get to walk across Waterloo Bridge in the evening and look out over the South Bank. There is always so much going on, and it changes week by week – so I’d try and catch something new and exciting! I would take them to some of the amazing coffee shops dotted around the city (Iris and June is my favourite). There’s amazing galleries and museums, pop up events, concerts and theatre shows. I’d probably try and take them to somewhere like the Almeida Theatre or the Donmar Warehouse, for an intimate night at watching some of the best theatre London has to offer. Maybe go to the Curzon or BFI and watch some indie cinema. Stroll around Kew Gardens. Sit in a park with a Gin & Tonic.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people deserve a shoutout. The obvious first ones are my parents who supported me through music lessons, drama groups, buying art supplies. The second are my drama teachers at school, who inspired me to pursue theatre more seriously, and opened my eyes to new styles and approaches that stick with me today. But perhaps the biggest one is to Ivy Arts Youth Theatre. I went once a week for years after school, performing in musicals from West Side Story to The Wedding Singer. I learned so much about what makes a good piece of theatre by being in one, and developed a love in particular for musical theatre, which is still a huge passion of mine. Kelly who ran the place taught me that you can create great art while also having fun, and the joy of making the work always makes the work better.

Website: www.alexstenhouse.com

Instagram: @alexstenhouse_

Twitter: @alexstenhouse_

Image Credits
Photos by Stefan Hanegraaf and Jack Henry photography

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