Alison has been working as a sculptor, primarily in the medium of clay, since 1997.
Alison studied art and ceramics at Loughborough College of Art and Design and Wolverhampton Polytechnic from 1971-1975. During this period she became very interested in weaving and she received a scholarship to study tapestry weaving in Poland for a year. On her return to Britain she set up as a tapestry weaver. Alison has always loved traveling and in 1981 she got a job for three years in the Sultanate of Oman working alongside the Bedouins. Alison was inspired by the incredible rock formations in Oman and back in Britain started to work with paper pulp creating large wall pieces and continued to work with paper until about 1997.
After working in Oman, Alison became very interested in participative development and the gender politics that surround the development process, as well as gender politics which are part of daily life. She continued to work internationally in Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Asia until the end of 2013. The experiences from this work are reflected in her artwork.
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.