Making with meaning is fundamental to Alison Shelton Brown, who explores the consequences of the human touch on our world. She is an interdisciplinary artist creating experimental sculpture and art jewellery; her ‘butterfly brain and bowerbird eye’ inform an intuitive and playful approach to making, corralling fluttering thoughts into processes that include ceramics, metal, textiles and video.
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?” Alison’s desire to make real the ideas tumbling around in her head created a meshing of innovative thinking, framed by her extensive experiences of materials.
Alison Shelton Brown joined Design-Nation in 2020.