Master of Fine Art School of Fine Art

Aaron Alexander Smyth


Aaron Alexander Smyth (b.1992) is an Irish interdisciplinary artist whose practice investigates identity and its formation. His work explores how our experience is visually coded within systems of power and how these codings, in turn, shape us, reflecting on the contradictions and truths cradled between our realities and fictions.

His work draws from art historical, cinematic, and archival imagery, weaving these elements together and contrasting them with a dynamic range of materials. This fusion constructs a world suspended between the real and the subconscious, a reflection on our contradictions and truths, a silhouette of the present and mutual truth that is timeless.

Smyth has been awarded the financial support of the Leverhulme Master of Fine Art Bursary for academic excellence and RSA John Kinross Scholarship for extended research.

begged borrowed stolen
flaming flowers that brightly blaze ✳✳
w\hole, \holy, full of \holes
a way \ a lone, a last \ a loved, a long the_____

begged borrowed stolen

This new body of work narrates a personal ceremonial journey, intertwining it within the broader socio-historical relationship with the transcendental, exploring our intimate connection with absence, grief and the intentionality of its associated phenomena, the things we use to mark and the markings we carry along with us. A shrine to people begged, borrowed and stolen, exploring their haunting, enchanting spectral presence.

In this way, the work seeks to foster a contemplative space in which to negotiate these social or personal histories, one which might act as a catalyst to generate new knowledge, engender alternate practices or reveal dynamic perspectives on our interconnectedness.

The work takes formal cues from art historical and cinematic references, channelling and questioning their role in the formation of cultural knowledge. These representations are translated, layered and bound together to enshrine meaning in their proximity. Weight, reiteration and material selection add to this at a quantum level, different kinds of silent speech, a dialogue, collection or collision of intent from which we scramble towards Truths.

In a world shaped by structural and historical circumstances, global influences and localised positioning, this work aims to present a counter-contextualised enigmatic encounter, a curious and mischievous Riddle where meaning is found or forged in the overlaps and gaps that emerge inbetween elements and audience, continuing to unfold through time and reflection.

my inability to sever the wood from the trees . GoodbyeEvergreen

Polychromos on 640gsm FabrianoArtistico bound to 19mm limed Ash, HP Archival transparency. Bound together with cotton rope.
For Sale: Price on Request

searching . the timbre of your silent speech

Polychromos on 640gsm FabrianoArtistico. Pencil on 40gsm TosaShi. Pierced together with mild steel****
For Sale: Price on Request

Nicodemus to your likeness

Etched aluminium, inset with lamp black oil and mounted on hand polished mild steel.
For Sale: Price on Request

me, softly . the ramparts of your Elsinore

Oil with ash and Polychromos on primed 640gsm FabrianoArtistico. 3D modelled teardrops, recast in SterlingSilver (smelted from personal effects accrued over half a lifetime). Document ash remnants on TosaShi. Pierced together with mild steel*
For Sale: Price on Request

talamh fiáin (ode to my debtors)

Oil and Polychromos on primed 640gsm FabrianoArtistico with Ash stretcher. Puncture holes gilded with stolen 24ct GoldLeaf (let it be the last thing i take from you). Dried sage.
For Sale: Price on Request

he fell, like a prince

Pencil on 640gsm FabrianoArtistico. Archival pigment print on 120gsm EpsonSingleweightMatte. 40gsm TosaShi. Ceramic beads from damaged rosary. Acrylic Vinyl cutting. Hand framed with limed Ash.
For Sale: Price on Request

flaming flowers that brightly blaze ✳✳

Pencil drawing on Fabriano Artistico 640gsm, Digital sculpture on HP film. Pewter casts and Lapel pins. 140x215cm. This work was presented in OK_Gallery NewYork in September 2023, curated by Stephen Lau and Claire Harnenz.

w\hole, \holy, full of \holes

✳              𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝒸𝓀 𝓋𝒾𝓈𝒸𝑜𝓈𝒾𝓉𝓎 𝑜𝒻 𝓂𝑒𝓂𝑜𝓇𝓎 𝓉𝓇𝒶𝒸𝑒𝓈 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒷𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹𝒶𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈

𝒾𝓉’𝓈 𝒹𝒶𝓃𝑔𝑒𝓇𝑜𝓊𝓈 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓈𝑒𝒹𝓊𝒸𝓉𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝓌𝒶𝓇𝓂𝓉𝒽                       𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓈𝒾𝓇𝑒𝓃 𝓈𝑜𝓃𝑔


✳                                                          𝓂𝓎 𝓉𝑒𝓂𝓅𝑒𝓈𝓉


𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑜 𝓂𝓎 𝒽𝑒𝒶𝓇𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝒶𝒾𝓇 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁𝓈           𝓉𝒾𝓃𝓎 𝓉𝑜𝓀𝑒𝓃𝓈

✳          𝓈𝓁𝒾𝓅𝓅𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑜 𝒶 𝒻𝑜𝓇𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝓃𝒶𝓎 𝓃𝑒𝒾𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇 𝓀𝓃𝑒𝓌


This work was presented as part of Chaos Reigns at David Dale Gallery and Studios, Warehouse Space. December 2023.

Chaos Reigns is a Dark Opera that navigates between present expressions and past traces. A show which incites rhythmic explorations of sensuality and rebellion, realities and fictions which result in a piercing of the senses. Four protagonists purse the aura of this otherworld – distinct voices intertwined to form and evocative ensemble.

Aaron Alexander Smyth, Abi Charlesworth, Cora Weiss, Holly O’Brien. 

a way \ a lone, a last \ a loved, a long the_____


Red in all its excesses, readings and relations.

For me, this focus on, and reduction of, colour bracketed the viewing experience and emphasised colours’ integral role in the formation of meaning. Here, red signals something visceral; it’s intended to incite, set against cold, monochromatic metals and rhythmic, meditative linework in the drawn image. It talks of the body, in an equally seductive and fragile way.

Steel pierces the elements together, certainly reminiscent of some form of weapon. However, I primarily see these as representations of time and its trajectories, folding and fixing elements together at specific points, always to bear the mark of time occurrence. These two works, unfixed, rely on balance forged between the piercing point and their inert weight. Many readings towards the artwork’s meaning lie in this idea


These works were featured in Swatchedx Blush in the PipeFactory, Glasgow (An exhibition series curated ‘one colour at a time’ by Blake Ballard and Louise Campion) and GSAx HFBK, The Glue Factory, Glasgow.