October 2020 – Grönqvist Stiftelse Award
Alison is deeply honoured that the Grönqvist Foundation has awarded her a prize in support of her artistic production. The foundation, whose chairman is Karl Stockmann, is a private, non-profit organisation based in Helsinki that generously distributes unsolicited awards to artists, among others. This award is timely – allowing Alison to forge ahead with her current quest: The publication of a book and a retrospective exhibition – both entitled “Alison: an artist’s journey”. Preparations are ongoing for the retrospective exhibition of Alison’s art-work, spanning over 6 decades, at Kappilitehdas, Helsinki from 25th April – 15th May 2022. Along with her book, this exhibition will reflect the evolution of Alison’s artistic output, her travels and the influence of Oriental cultures. Both Alison’s book and the exhibition also emphasize the importance of including art, as a subject and tool, in environmental education for the next generation, as well as the future health and well-being of our planetary ‘nest’.
2018: Sandvik Harun – Sasong fisket vid Jurmo by Agneta Andersson
This recent publication by Ms. Andersson includes Alison’s drawings/paintings of birds, fishing huts, portraits and landscapes of her favourite islands in the Finnish Archipelago.
2016 – HARPA CENTER, REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
Exhibition of images from the Russian Far East : Alison was honoured to participate in the annual Arctic Forum Assembly, where she exhibited over 30 art-works from the Russian Far East – celebrating the rich diversity of wildlife, indigenous faces and landscapes. Some of the images on display highlighted the need for engaging the local communities in creative recycling/removal of much iron debris from an otherwise pristine Arctic shoreline.
2016 – HOTEL NESTOR, KORPO ISLAND, FINLAND
“A celebration of the Finnish Archipelago” at Hotel Nestor, Korpo: 14.06-31.08.2016. With over 100 art-works, the scope of the earlier exhibition at Sipoo Library in 2015 was expanded to include island landscapes and portraits of significant islanders in the Turku/Abo archipelago. The display included 5 posters with background material, texts and photos.
2015 – KONSTOFORM GALLERY, GUMBOSTRAND, SIPOO, FINLAND
A group exhibition at Konstoform Gallery (04.06-30.08.2015) included Alison’s art-works depicting scenes from her favourite islands in the Finnish Baltic Sea.
2014/2015 – GALERIE MYRTIS, BALTIMORE, USA
A group exhibition of 60 artists that included Alison’s large mixed-media art-work entitled Malawian mothers & daughters homeward bound – from the African Rhythms Series.
2013/14 – AALTO CAFÉ, HELSINKI, FINLAND
An exhibition of images from the Russian Far East: watercolours, pastels and drawings of wild-life, landscapes and faces, as well as 47 digital prints: all were inspired by several journeys to that remote region aboard The Spirit of Enderby, including Alison’s artist-in-residency in 2012 with Heritage Expeditions. A more detailed description of the journeys that have inspired these art-works can be found in the Russian Far East section of this website.
ALISON’S EARLY DAYS IN FINLAND….beginning in l972
Upon arrival to Helsinki in l972 and newly married, Alison’s adaptation to Finland and a new culture was rapid. New family connections introduced her to many Finnish and foreign artists and new art-forms. In 1973, Alison met Finnish artist and weaver, Marina Strukel, who taught her to weave. They set up a studio together in Helsinki and jointly exhibited their wall-hangings during the l970s and l980s. Simultaneously, Alison explored the iconic buildings of Helsinki as well as the rural setting of her new home near Hanko. Alison also began teaching art in Helsinki and her developing artistic output included some modest commissions: designing the Ekberg Cafe menu and drawings and paintings of the old Paulig coffee factory in Katajanokka.
Thanks to Henrik Paulig’s purchase of her art-work in l979, Alison was able to embark on her quest to travel to Singapore where she learnt Chinese brush-painting from Master Nai Swee Leng. As her art-work developed, Alison also received a number of Finnish art grants. Nearly 50 years later, Alison has established a long and close association with Finland which continues to this day…