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Alison Read



Although Alison Read chose printmaking as her medium when studying fine art at Newcastle University, her final show was sculpture and photography. And when she was subsequently chosen to exhibit in the RCA and was commissioned by Lord Rothschild to make a life-size bronze sculpture of five gnashing, running dogs, it looked like her career might have gone down different route.

But despite this success she abandoned sculpture and returned to printmaking, running the Printmaking Workshop at Lincoln University for the next 9 years. At Lincoln, Alison completed her MA degree, learnt a lot about practical printmaking and began exhibiting her own work. This led to her going it alone as a commercial artist printmaker three years ago and this how she now makes her living.

Alison’s upbringing on a farm explains her preoccupation with animals in her work as she had literally spent most of her waking hours outside surrounded by them - cows, cats, dogs and chickens were her constant companions. And of course, having this experience led her to know their characters rather well and have hundreds of stories in her head about them as individuals.

“Although I love all forms of printmaking, my current favourite is the woodcut, and I attack my plates quite brutally at times,” says Alison. “I am always surprised at how simple they are; just a few lines to denote the essentials. I like the hands-on nature of producing a plate and its immediacy. I don’t keep highly detailed sketchbooks etc as I use the plate rather than paper to work out ideas. I think this is why my images are quirky, if I plan too much I find this is often lost”

Alison is now a full-time printmaker, exhibiting in her own gallery and in a number of other venues scattered across the country. She feels that she is jest at the beginning of a career path that is full of interest and promise. Many of her fans will agree with her.