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Alison Critchlow is a contemporary British painter with a broad, investigative approach. She splits her time between studio practice and educational work- talks, collaborative projects, exhibitions. She is currently researching the work of Hedda Sterne with funding from Arts Council England. This period of creative exploration is opening up all sort of new possibilities.

 ‘The field of painting is expanding in my mind to include poetry, art writing and philosophical enquiry. Taking Sterne’s lead, I am stepping into new artistic territory.’

Informed by sensory experience and the ‘mind’s eye’ Alison’s paintings move happily between representation and abstraction. She is interested in the nature of consciousness, perception and the subtle interplay between internal and external landscape. The process of painting and the language of paint is central to her approach, using the texture, speed and pace of marks to speak of lived experience.

Alison trained at Falmouth School of Art, Cornwall, and completed three years postgraduate study with Turps Art School, in London. She has spent time painting in wild and remote locations, often visiting the Outer Hebrides and made a trip to Arctic Greenland in 2010. She was artist in residence on the Isle of Iona in February 2017 and has exhibited widely throughout Britain including: ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, University of Cambridge, Gracefield Arts Centre, Fairfield Mill, Brantwood, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, Manchester Art Show, Bianco Nero and Penwith Gallery, St Ives. She has work in several collections including Royal Bank of Scotland, Ernst and Young, Wordsworth Trust, Edinburgh Hospitals Trust. Since 2017 Alison has worked on several projects with the Wordsworth Trust in particular their ‘Weather Words’ and ‘Poetry and Paint’ projects. Please get in touch if you would like to read a full CV.

She spent two years learning from Wordsworth’s creative process and ideas. Drawing from his manuscripts and painting in Dove Cottage garden by day and at night, exploring the underlying rhythms of that place. This time has had a profound effect on her work and underpins her ongoing fascination with creative practice.

Alison sometimes teaches workshops and gives talks, often with the Wordsworth Trust. Other recent collaborations and projects have been with artist Laura Harrison, sharing night walks as part of Artful Ways (Tullie House, Carlisle 2021 and touring 2022); with operatic soprano Soraya Mafi for Netherby Hall’s art and music programme (2020);  the Eden Project  ‘Festival of Discovery’ (2020/21). At the start of 2020 Alison also ran a big mural project with a group of men in prison. The art project at HMP Haverigg was spread over three months and involved art history, discussion and debate as well as practical painting skills. It was an uplifting project which saw one of the cell blocks transformed as part of the education programme at the jail.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss collaborative/research projects, exhibitions or to enquire about any of the paintings.