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Art Watch : Alice Bartlett

Alice Bartlett is our Art Watch Artist for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across any discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and also worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch.

Why Alice Bartlett?

Alice Bartlett is a coder. She works for the Financial Times, and she takes her job seriously, but that is her day job. She is famous not for her desk job – but for the revolutionising the world of nail art. Nail art has been getting more and more involved over the last couple of years. With exotic fixings, the acrylic and gel nails have only gotten longer and more edgy. Cut to our artist, hobbyist photographer, who chanced upon the hobby store. And while she was in the model train section she had a brainwave.

It was the beginning for her inspired series “The World at your fingertips” which caught all our imaginations in 2012-13. She created little vignettes with flocking on nails, loading them with miniature toys. And she would photograph with the other hand. There were endless possibilities the way this creative and highly experimental person saw it. She could move her fingers to alter the angles. And she would place people in a park, or children or youngsters even.

An older couple enjoying an afternoon in the park. And it gets better with a young girl looking at her reflection in a giant window. And then a couple holding hands standing on the tip of her nail. Each of these scenes tell a compelling story. These are some of the scenes that Bartlett concocted. But where are they coming from? Movies, books – her life experiences, people she knows and has heard of? The possibilities are endless.

The Artistic Process

The process is an involved one, one which is inventive and fragile. Her art is the product of a day filled with playful figures, colorful nails, and also an exceptionally creative mind.

Alice Bartlett moss covered fingernails with textured green flock are something that people are still looking forward to – what other visions she might create. In her particular case – where she used the green,  she decided that her nails would be a great backdrop for miniature scenes of people doing daily activities. So she chose her favorite mini models and created these scenes on top of each nail. She then photographed the imaginative stories that came to life in her hands, literally at her fingertips.

Being a coder is a world that pulls one into the black mirror. But it is an involved world too nonetheless. Everything has symmetry – and this is also at the core of her philosophy. Small parts make a whole on but their own the small parts are important as well.

It was the ‘simple complexity’ that she projected through her work that certainly garnered a lot of attention and interest in what she was doing. What might have started as a whim was certainly much more.

It is unfortunate however, that we haven’t seen anything else from her yet.

An entrepreneur at heart she has a presence on social media platforms and as a part of her female empowerment program she started the campaign the ‘Tampon Club’. It is clear that Alice believes that the smallest things in life are worth looking into and are of great value. We thus look forward eagerly to what scape she choses next!

The Works We Love the Most


For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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