Alison’s sculptures are fragments of memory, experiences and form. They are made with materials taken from the earth; clay, metals, glass, oxides; each with its own strength and reaction to each other and the fire they are immersed in. In the kiln alchemy takes place as the various materials are drawn together or reject each other, they are transformed. The memories of the earth emerge.
Some elements get lost and burn away, others fuse and create a different form. The materials perform randomly and the pain, the scars, the individual and collective conflicts and wars, the striving, the sensuous and joyous nature of living all emerge out of the materials as a response to their reaction to the form and the fire.
The unexpectedness of the result of pouring molten metal onto the fired pieces adds to the ambiguity and ambivalence of the various materials responding to each other.
Alison’s work is informed by war, injustice, the impact of conflicts on populations, the land and all our lives. The stupidity of war and why do we keep repeating the horrors it inflicts on everyone. It has never solved anything, rather ensured that hatred and fear will be people’s stories.
Alison is painting as well as sculpting.
‘If I then had waked after long sleep.’
The chrysalises have split, and lay like
shipwrecked skeletal keels, scuttled
on to white vestments.
They’ve been resurrected out
of thermal ovens, reborn and,
fossil-like, they ooze a frozen alchemy.
by Dai Jenkins