About the Artist
Alison Lees grew up in rural Worcestershire. She vividly remembers feeling very aware of the unseen world in nature being both a friend and companion to her.
“I spent a lot of time riding my bike around the lanes of rural Worcestershire. One summer day I stopped in a particular spot where through the hedge, way in the distance, you could see the Malvern hills. I became aware of the honeysuckle that was abundant in front of me. The scent of it nearly knocked me off my bike. It was here that I felt an extraordinary connection with nature and to where I lived including the shadow of hills in the distance. It was belonging, friendship, acknowledgement and a flood of excitement all at once. I didn’t feel alone and I am sure that from that point I realised how the unseen world inspires, enriches and comforts me. ”
“After that time I was aware of trying to express that connection and especially the collaboration as I painted. I painted trees, light and horses; lots of horses.”
She graduated from St. Martins School of Art in the late 1980’s and spent the first years of her professional artist life submerged in the rich counterculture of London.
During her training she realised she didn’t fit into a particular mould. For her, creating authentic artwork is vital and she resolutely continues to paint narrative and symbolic images. She is trained and experienced in therapeutic models that, in turn, help to access the essence of what is important for her to paint.
Alison’s foremost influences come from the natural world, using an organic process to initiate and evolve a piece which coveys light and spirit to those who choose to look carefully. Her work is sometimes described as being somewhere between Marc Chagall and Odilon Redon; dreamy and meditative.
She now lives in rural Kent and her home and studio overlook the curvaceous Adisham Downs which she finds to be a source of inspiration. She has exhibited since the 80’s. More recently she has had work in juried group shows as well as in Artist Open house exhibitions. Her paintings have been acquired by private and corporate collections.
“I find that collaboration with others is important and rewarding, but the biggest reward is when people glean something from a painting or if it speaks to them in a direct and deep way. If they live with a painting and receive joy, or see something different depending on how they are feeling then I am happy.”
“My paintings are mixed media, mainly acrylic and I build the surface with layers of wash and colour. Sometimes the subject emerges as I start to put washes of colour on the canvas. I may be carrying an image, part of a story or emotion in my mind that I will pull tendrils from. My challenge is to not depict but to stay loose. I also believe experimenting and revisiting other more classical techniques such as printing, is important.”
“The way I work is influenced by being able to step between worlds, to respond to the light, seasons and the integral magic or spirit. My work often expresses transition. This may be the shift in light or the change of season. Commonly the story is of meeting or having a personal relationship with someone or something, the tenderness of embrace when lying on the earth, or the difficult nature of being faced with conflict.”
“I paint to express my relationship to the world around me, my personal journey and to delve into the unseen layers that have inspired me since experiencing the communing with Honeysuckle as a child.”