The physicality of the material inspires me. The trick is to achieve a balance between what you want to say, and what the material wants to do. Paper pulp is quite hard to control in three dimensions, so being able to do that is immensely satisfying. I live on the Moray Firth, close to the beach, and the calm, unspoiltness and emptiness of the coast, the changing light and weather are things I look to emulate in my work. It is my aim to betray in my work no sense of struggle; to produce things that look smooth, unerring, and inevitable.
Having grown up in Sutherland, Alison trained as a sculptor, attending ECA and Edinburgh University graduating MA (Hons) Fine Art in 1986. After postgraduate study she moved to the Banffshire coast in 1987, where she has lived ever since. Working in metal, she made many works for the public realm all around Scotland and the north of England, but 2010 decided to reinvent her practice through the western hand papermaking tradition, having in the process to learn an entirely new set of technical skills. Alison runs a mobile papermaking studio – PaperShift - and has received a number of awards and scholarships, the most recent being the Friends of Dard Hunter award for travel to the US. In the past year she has carried out public commissions for Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Episcopal Church, and is particularly interested in producing temporary or permanent work for ecclesiastical spaces.
Alison Simpson Shell Cast cotton, wax
W25cm x H15cm
Alison Simpson Birds Linen pulp
Alison Simpson Blue Ten Linen pulp
Alison Simpson Supplicant Cotton and mixed fibre pulp, metal leaf
Approx. W50cm x D50cm x H30cm
Alison Simpson Pale Sun Cotton embossment with gold leaf