“My work is definitely a by-product of the 21st century & been described as a ‘techno cannibal’ by BBC journalist Clare English. My career has spanned over 3 decades and three different countries since leaving Edinburgh College of Art in 1990. The motivation behind my work comes from being the child of post-war parents, Scottish thriftiness and an avid watcher of Blue Peter! My need to re-use, re-develop and re-create can be seen in my use of ordinary materials in my creations.
Although initially trained in jewellery and silver-smithing, I crossed over successfully into the world of textiles, costume and fashion, winning several awards including Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year, Recycling Fashion Designer of the Year and various awards for Fibre in North America and Australasia).
A staple ingredient in my work is wire that I reclaim from old televisions, the older the better. Having found over a hundred different colours and hues of copper and aluminium wire, the resulting craftwork is highly coloured and durable. It takes about an hour to gut a television salvaging all that I can use, and about 3 days to re-create it into a hat. The first hat took months to do and is now in the National Museums of Scotland Collection (they also have the first pair of shoes and a hatpin). Lately though, due to development in technology, I’ve found it harder to find the old television sets and have had to resort to buying various colours of wire! There is always a high component of re-used materials in my work – whether it is re-using charity shop finds, backing the work with plastic reclaimed from packaging or using sweetie wrappers to get the right colour.
My pieces are in museum collections & private collections around the world. My work ranges from small earrings to large sculptures and I am more than happy to work to create a commission especially for you. Take a look at my portfolio on the home page and let me know if you’d like to order it. I can let you know if it’s available or if I have anything similar. Alternatively, take a look at my Etsy shop to see what’s available.
Until December 2018, I worked as press officer for Wirral Museums Service for the Williamson Art Gallery and Birkenhead Priory. (Visitwilliamsonartgallery.orgfor more information on their current exhibits and programmes). I joined the team delivering on the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture with Wirral Borough Council for almost two years and mostly recently joined the teaching staff at Wirral Met on the BA Fine Art Course. I returned to being full self-employed in July 2022.”
A selection of Alison’s works can be found below.