About the Artist

Alison Owen

Alison Owen

I’m interested in the ways artifacts accrue meaning.  I am particularly drawn to how information is stored and presented, in galleries, homes, and museums, and the shifting values that attach to objects at different times. In this digital age, we are very careful curators of what gets into the shot. But what can be learned by widening the frame? What are the small stories behind the main ones?

 I am interested in the ways that art and artifacts are presented and re-presented over time. I focus on vessels: the depiction of them in books and printed media, and in paintings. I find ideas for the vase shapes in still life paintings, particularly in the work of Matisse and Morandi, as well as in ancient urns and amphorae. The practice of making the vases is similar to drawing and painting, I carve the shapes freehand from slabs of clay, using a knife like a pencil. The forms hover between two and three dimensions. I decorate them with underglaze, paint, fimo clay, paper and fabric scraps. The vases can range from functional to sculptural, and they find their way into my painting and collage practice as well, coming full circle back into the still life genre they started out in. 

By drawing attention to the framework of presentation as much as to the work itself, I highlight the hidden value systems of social and cultural institutions. My installations explore these systems: of high and low culture, of fine art and decoration, the valued and the valueless, and embody my belief that all of these things, equally, are important to our understanding of the world and our places in it.


8 products

8 products