London-based Alan Oliver is an established handweaver and dyer who specialises in making rugs and wallhangings. His work explores ideas of identity and place through the use of traditional craft practices and the use of natural dyes made from foraged materials.
While undertaking his Textile Design MA at Chelsea College of Arts, Alan’s research led him to understand that inherently present within all traditionally produced textiles is an identity of place, which relates to both locality, and the sense of individual and communal identity gained through the practice of traditional textile crafts. These ideas remain the central themes of his work. Many of his pieces reference his own locality in London, through use of natural dyes made from materials that he forages for locally, and also by placing his work in a historical and cultural context, informed by his own personal experience and sense of identity as a weaver.
Alan’s practice is guided by his environment and as such sustainability is one of his key concerns. All of the fibres he uses are natural and come from reputable and accredited sources where possible, and he makes his dyes and mordants from safe, natural and sustainable materials. Alan believes that future of craft lies in sustainable design, through the unique relationship makers have with the work they produce and their involvement in so many aspects of the production process.
Alan has been a been a member of Design-Nation since early 2019 and his work has been displayed in exhibitions at the Barbican, Joanna Bird Gallery London and Ruthin Craft Centre.