Alison was brought up on her family’s farm outside Edinburgh where she now has her studio and home. After completing a Psychology degree at St Andrews University in 1989 she studied Ceramics at Camberwell College in London, graduating in 1993. She exhibited her ceramic sculptures in galleries across Britain. In 2008 a desire to explore drawing and painting led her to study at Leith School of Art. Alison now exhibits chiefly with galleries in Edinburgh and Maine, USA.
Alison’s work takes its starting point from observational drawing of prosaic subjects such as tools or chairs. They frequently refer to the world of work or making that is primarily physical in nature. She conjectures that probably an upbringing on a farm followed by training as a ceramicist and marrying a furniture maker (Roland Fraser) has informed these choices of subject matter. The experience of intense observation followed by open-ended exploration of the subject using a variety of media allows new, salient images to arise. These distilled images are an endeavour to transform the work from mere observation to an expression of an emotionally charged world within the painting. Set in a generalised environment the attention is on the psychological undertones of the work rather than any attempt at photographic realism or a specific narrative.
“I want my work to elicit a visceral response in the viewer where no recourse to a written explanation is deemed necessary. In the words of Isak Dinesen, There is no mystery in art. Do the things that you can see, they will show you what you cannot see”