Alison Dunhill

Artists in Residence
17.10.2015 - 17.12.2015

Alison Dunhill lives and works between London and Norfolk (UK). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Reading University and a master’s degree in art history from the University of East Anglia. Alison has participated in numerous group exhibitions in various galleries in the UK, including the Menier Gallery, Cafe Gallery, Beardsmore Gallery (London) and the School House Gallery (Wighton); as well as solo exhibitions at Piers Feetham Gallery, Gallery Forty-Seven, Hampstead Theatre Gallery (London) and Neptune Gallery (Hunstanton). Her work is present in collections in Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Paris and Tuscany, as well as in the UK. She has lectured at a number of academic conferences and for over three decades has been working as an art teacher at the Hampstead School of Art, in London. In the 70s, Alison actively participated in the circle of the International Situationists in Florence, Italy, when issues such as psychogeography arouse her interest.

During her two-month residency in Rio de Janeiro, Alison expanded some issues and practices which began to be developed in recent years in the UK. Her starting point were ‘found’ objects. At this early stage, the artist collected little twisted and crushed metal debris found on the streets of the city center of Rio de Janeiro. Her intention was to juxtapose these objects, freeing them from their primary function, propelling them into a possible poetry. The best results occurred when the visual twinning worked in tandem with the strongest first-use juxtaposition, for example a piece of delicate lace with a computer motherboard. Links might be through colour, texture or size, all of which, together or separately, will act as a counterpoint to the disparity between their original functions.

Openness to chance is essential in Alison’s process and she usually works on three or six pieces at one time, playing with how the materials and their by-products interact.

Inspiration comes from Andre Breton’s theories and practices (Nadja), Joseph Cornell’s Boxes, Sarah Sze’s installations, Kurt Schwitter’s collages and architecture and, more recently, the works of Brazilian artist Fernanda Gomes.

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