Original Label


Icons of our time and place. Intense colour, intriguing texture, careful superimposition. These fuse in Aiken’s art to compel the viewer into creativity. It’s a communicative space where fascination with the simple things in life dialogues with sensitivity to the complexity of human experience. A space networked by concepts; familiar figures and objects revisited and reworked, themes in variation, poetic correspondences.

    Warhol saw the artist as “someone who produces things that people don’t need to have, but that he - for     some good reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them”.
Aiken’s work offers a journey of interpretation. With Relics and frolics (2005) we find security in looking again at the encountered: “There is a certainty in looking back, the icons are real, their place already defined”. Razzle Dazzle (2006) lives up to its name; we feel the glamour. The images in Chic to Classic (2007) defy time and break out to the lasting. Aiken’s work now has a life of its own: “It’s like the rings on a tree; each outer circle shows the layer of another year, another story, I never know where the work is going to lead or end”. Legends (2008), shining and glorious, speaks fame, freedom and flight. Aiken’s current work is bold, progressive. Domestic and political icons now pose questions of identity and difference, community and restoration, reconciliation and re-creation. Attention to texture, concern for structure, paint on materials of meaning; layers of the senses and ideas. Big ideas. What does it mean to know and be known? To live, live together, endure?  Who are we? Who makes us? Does it matter?

    Aiken, with Rothko, calls the viewer “companion”. We are grateful for companionship. As C. S. Lewis put it:

    We seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves …We     want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with their     hearts as well as with our own…We demand windows … My own eyes are not     enough for me, I will see through those of others.

Aiken’s icons open new windows to our senses and minds. They may help us see a bigger picture.

Faith, Hope & Variety

To complement the original oil on aluminium artwork... 108 Limited Edition Prints are available to purchase.

The Real Thing

On tins, cans and politicians

Household names, familiar brands,
Disregarded by-products of a
Belfast childhood.
Discarded refuse of the diet
We were reared on,
Retrieved, now, from
The working kitchen of
Our Ulster story.
Retrieved, re-formed,
Assembled together.
In our time.

A disarming display of
Unthinkable unity,
A startling structure of
Un-easy re-fusion.

Fairground sideshow?
Iconic redemption?
There’s peace in our borders.
A taste of good things.

Sharon Jones