Musings

Ceredigion Art Trail is OPEN

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Ceredigion Art Trail is underway - August 16th - August 31st 2014. Alison has her workshop and gallery open for all to come and see. Come and talk to Alison about her work, walk around the garden, have a good look around.

OPEN 10am - 6pm Friday - Sundays (and Bank Holiday Monday) PHONE ANY OTHER TIME as if I am here you are VERY WELCOME

01974 821358

www.ceredigionarttrail.org.uk

New home for ‘Held Memory’

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The second Ceredigion Art Trail has just finished.  Quieter than last year but those who ventured to visit the workshop and see my work were wonderful to meet and it was an enjoyable two weeks.  ‘Held Memory’ was taken to her new home near Aberystwyth yesterday.

New work in progress

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

These figures were shown in Female Frame IV at Theatre Clwyd in Mold, North Wales from March 9th to 20th April 2013. They were then shown in the Strawbale Gallery in Bwlchllan in May 2013, Ceredigion and then 5 of them in Gas Gallery in Aberystwyth June 2013.

They are female figures ‘Fragments’ and prints which reflect and echo a fragmentation and broken body; ‘Fragmented’.

Three will be going to their new home in South Wales very soon.

Sea Pictures Gallery. Clare, Suffolk

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Alison’s work is being shown at the Sea Pictures Gallery, Clare in Suffolk.  This is exciting and great to get work into a new gallery.

SEA PICTURES GALLERY

Suffolk Magazine February 2013                                                             SPG 01 2013

‘ONES TO WATCH’

Sea Pictures Gallery in Clare begins the year with an exhibition of some of the best of contemporary photography and ceramics. The show ‘Ones to Watch’ is being staged jointly with a new gallery, Fine & Contemporary. Running for the whole of February and into March, the Sea Pictures part of the show features highly original work by one of the self-styled ‘Iron Maidens’ Alison Lochhead, from deepest mid-Wales. She is almost unique in successfully fusing iron and clay. The dramatic results are hulks of ships that appear fossilized or recently torn from the earth. An example of her politically referenced fossilised female torsos is on display in the Fine & Contemporary section of the exhibition alongside work from fellow Welsh ceramicist, Joe Finch and  landscape painter Andie Clay.

Sea Pictures Gallery is also introducing ceramic ships by Terri Smart and other sea themed work by Harriet Caslin, together with popular gallery ceramicists Frank and Janet Hamer and Emma Williams. New contemporary marine photography from wildlife specialist Rebecca Nason ARPS will be on show with work by landscape photographer Andrew Midgley.

Fine & Contemporary is a sister gallery to Sea Pictures and will hold occasional exhibitions at other galleries and on the internet on non-maritime themes such as archaeology, Wales, landscape or flora and fauna. For this launch event it is showing the complete 20 print exhibition of photographs by Suffolk photographer, Paul Coghlin, that recently won him a Fellowship of the British Institute of Professional Photography. BIPP President, Roy Meiklejon FBIPP, stated “BIPP qualifications are among the most rigorous in the world. Qualification with the BIPP requires hard work, determination, commitment and lots of creativity”.

For more information visit the website www.seapicturesgallery.com or call 01787 279024. Children are always welcome.

Iron Maidens Exhibition

Friday, August 28th, 2009

IRON MAIDENS Exhibition

Exhibiting: Sarah Clover (USA) Felicia Glidden (USA) Cynthia Handel (USA) Kate Hobby (UK) Justine Johnson (UK) Coral Lambert (UK/USA) Alison Lochhead (UK) Carrie Phoenix (UK) Tamsie Ringler (USA) Theresa Smith (USA) Julie Ward (USA) Simone Bizzell-Browning (UK) “Liquid iron forms the core of the earth and courses through our bodies in the form of haemoglobin. It is the stuff of legends all over the world and its development into useable material has transformed our culture and environment, and fine artists, as the keepers of cultural myths, have been attracted to the material over the centuries. In the last fifteen years cast iron has become part of the contemporary sculptural repertoire and Wales is becoming a European centre of excellence in this material” (Robert Harding, Inheritors of the Vulcan Tradition. Planet 2006) The resurgence of cast iron as a sculptural medium in Wales began in 1994 with the building of a small portable furnace by two USA artists, Charles hook and Deborah la Grasse for Harvey Hood at Berllanderi Sculpture Workshop. A continuing interchange between iron sculptors across the Atlantic was initiated by Coral Lambert who still organises the US/USA Cast Iron Symposia, alternating between the two countries each year. Iron Maidens is an exhibition of sculpture and drawings by British and American female sculptors who work in cast iron. They have all variously worked alongside each other in Butley Mills Studios, Suffolk; The Museum of Steel Sculpture, Ironbridge; Salem Art Works, New York State; Franconia Sculpture Park, Minnesota; Sloss Furnaces, Alabama; Caerau Metals, Brecon; West Wales College of the Arts, Carmarthen and Berllanderi, Raglan. Iron Maidens is one of the first of several exhibitions shown as a precursor to the International Contemporary Cast Iron Art Conference in Kidwelly, Wales in 2010; where it will have a special showing.

Article in PLANET

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Straw Bale Gallery

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

The opening of the Straw Bale Gallery took place on May 18th 2013.  IT DID NOT RAIN!  Lots of people came and enjoyed themselves.  It was also the launch of the book ‘Revealment - Datguddiad’; poems by Dai Jenkins and images of sculptures by Alison Lochhead.

Marc Perry reading poems of Dai Jenkins at the opening.

Marc Perry reading the poems. To get your copy of the book email alison.lochhead@btinternet.com. See the Book page on the website

Outside Strawbale Gallery

Outside Strawbale Gallery

Sedum growing on the roof.  Sheep in next door field.

Sedum growing on the roof. Sheep in next door field.

STARTED IN 2007

My workshop is chaotic and trying to show finished work to anyone is always a difficult experience for all involved.  For a while I could show all my work outside but increasingly my sculptures are becoming more vulnerable to the ravages of the winds and lashing rains and I decided I needed a space for just showing my work, and also for me to be able to explore different ways of displaying my work and further developing the creative process of making. I decided to build a straw bale round house with a reciprocal roof.  I thought it would be a quick build and relatively cheap.  I started building it in 2007 with the idea that it would be finished by the autumn.  The weather stepped in and no small straw bales were to be found as everyone was taking advantage of the one dry day in the summer to make large bales.  I finally found some in October, but this was too late to try and build the walls as dry weather is essential to keep the straw dry.

The basic structure went up in July 2007 and over wintered until building started again in June 2008.  The upright posts are oak and the roof struts are silver birch.

The reciprocal roof structure which went on next, casts fantastic shadows.  I needed to see how big a piece of glass was needed to enable the structure to be seen from within the building. In June building resumed, and so did the rain.  The straw bale walls went up in a day. Then the roof needed to be put on and made weather prrof.  To get to this stage took weeks, being rained off and pallets and tarpaulin constantly blowing off; but finally at the end of July the roofing felt and green roof material was put on.  The roof will be covered in sedum (rock plant) and I am slowly collecting this to start planting.

Plastering has begun, using NHL 2 lime, and days have been spent mixing and plastering.  The penultimate coat is on the inside walls and the outside walls are finished.  The ceilings are just beginning. Needless to say the whole project has taken on a life of its own and is certainly not quick, nor cheap.

August 2009 news. Progress is being made.  The glass went in really easily in June, the stone flooring is done and plastering finished.  Lots of cleaning up now and then decisions about lighting. NEARLY THERE.  There have been many lessons learnt along the way and a few one step forward 2 steps back.  This was especially for the roof and how to safely get the water off without it soaking the plaster; this is sorted but took ages to refelt the lower part of the roof.  As it has been such a wet summer this got endlessly delayed as there had to be a run of dry, and preferably hot, weather.  Found a few days in late July.

Here are some latest photos.

Beams being sanded back to original colour, ready to plaster to the glass.

Final plastering done up to the glass

Getting ready to do the final plastering on the outside walls and overhang.

Below photographs of finished plastering.

SPRING 2012

The sedum roof has been planted and is growing. The landscaping is done and grass is taking hold.  ELECTRICS are DONE!!

The Ceredigion Art Trail in August and September 2012 allowed sculptures to be put into the gallery and viewed by the public.  Still trying to decide on light bulbs.  I have tried about 20 different ones, but will get there!

It all looks quite weathered now.  The sedum on the roof is almost fully covering the whole roof.

OPENING MAY 18th 2013.

Musings on Process

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Pouring Iron and Breaking out Moulds

The process of creating a piece of work within a mould; whether plaster or sand; is reminiscent of archaeology: uncovering the hidden, revealing parts of a whole, never knowing what will emerge.


Building the form from a part of a ceramic body and forming the rest of the body with polystyrene, foil, paper. The form is encased in sand which has sodium Silicate mixed with it and injected with carbon dioxide. This sets like stone and entombs the form.


The form is totally encased in sand, ensuring that there is a pour hole for the iron and air vents to let the air come out of the mould as the iron gets poured in.

This is another of my moulds being poured but the process is the same.

The iron was poured into the mould. It is a pity there are no photographs of the pouring of this as the whole mould was encased in flames and it was quite spectacular.

The finished piece ‘Warrior Woman’

Breaking out the mould always reminds me of archaeology.

The moulds after pouring the iron, some broken into others still waiting.

An archaeology dig at Strata Florida, Wales undertaken by Lampeter University. There is only speculation about what may lie under the earth. It gets peeled away, the earth is flayed in order to reveal what it holds. Each person involved has a different interpretation about what they are seeing and unearthing. Slowly a pattern emerges as the earth and stones are dug and brushed away, but the story is still unknown.

A mould waiting to be broken into and the first beginnings of what may emerge; the wing of a death boat.

A piece was made from wax and melted out. I did not know what to expect. The form had slumped but in so doing created a twisted appearance to the shape of the boat prow.

The very beginnings of the form emerging and slowly with chiselling and brushing half of the boat gets revealed.