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Alison Shelton Brown

an intuitive and playful approach

Alison Shelton Brown is an interdisciplinary artist creating experimental sculpture and art jewellery in her Devon studio; her processes include ceramics, metal, textiles and video.

What drives Alison to continue making? “A desire to make real the ideas tumbling around in my head causes innovative thinking, meshed together with experience of materials honed over the years.”

Making with meaning is fundamental to Alison as she explores the consequences of the human touch on our world. Her ‘butterfly brain and powerbird eye’ inform an intuitive and playful approach to making, corralling her fluttering thoughts into her pieces. Alison revels in the malleability of clay, its torn edges and tactile surfaces, patina and rust. She makes bold statement jewellery with environmental messages, and curious sculptural objects that invite closer inspection. Inspiration is found searching for the unexpected on local woodland walks in Devon or recycling discarded detritus down at the beach.

When lockdown began Alison felt disorientated, but gradually, through experimentation, she “wove” a new strand of work: making fish-nets inspired by woven bamboo and grass traps in the Pitt-Rivers Museum, and entwining rusty wire into hand-held and then larger ‘containers’ for her porcelain objects. Weaving became a meditative act for Alison as new ways of making emerged from isolation. “Are these fish-catchers or cocoons? And were we protected during lockdown, or trapped?”