Meet The Maker – Alison Read

Alison Read - printmaker

Alison Read - Printmaker

Alison chose printmaking as her medium as soon as she was allowed in the print room during her time at Newcastle University where she studied for her first degree in Fine Art.  Although Alison chose printmaking as her medium when studying 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.

Hamish

Hamish

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 is how she now makes her living.

The Professor

The Professor

Alison Read is from Lincolnshire and specialises in hand made original prints in a variety of methods including screenprints, etchings, woodcuts, linocuts and aquatinting. The subject matter is quirky, fun and mainly animal humour, but always different. Although Alison loves all forms of printmaking, her current favourite is the woodcut, and she attacks her plates quite brutally at times. She is always surprised at how simple they are; just a few lines to denote the essentials. Alison likes the hands-on nature of producing a plate and its immediacy, she doesn’t keep highly detailed sketchbooks etc as she uses the plate rather than paper to work out ideas.

Scratching Hare

Scratching Hare

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. Alison was the youngest in the family, with an older brother and sister, so the animals were her substitute friends of sorts. It was the best life she could have wished for, but a little unusual, and of course, having this experience led her to know their characters rather well and she has hundreds of stories in her head about them as individuals. For this reason Alison has obviously ‘humanised’ the animal.

The House Inspector

The House Inspector

The Stray

The Stray

Alison always regarded animals as having our traits and she is just taking it one step further. She likes the idea that they are free to think and do as we do, and she likes to make up some sort of visual story.

Lady Hare

Lady Hare

Alison loves nothing better than printing by hand then looking at the results of her labour. For her it is so satisfying to see hundreds of prints drying in her studio; it feels very productive. This suits Alison’s work ethic so I guess that’s why she likes it.  When she is not making new plates she is busy editioning the plates already done.

The Hypnotists

The Hypnotists

Heart Gallery sells Alison’s limited editions as well as her signed cards …. wide-eyed cats with jagged whiskers; playful hares; startled ostriches; busy little dogs with gnashing teeth; patient collies; a Jack Russell in a tutu holding a flower in its mouth ….. just some of the quirky animals in Alison’s current collection.

The Lawnmower

The Lawnmower

Alison is now a full-time printmaker, exhibiting with the local co-operative gallery in Lincoln and in a number of other venues scattered across the country. She feels that she is just at the beginning of a career path that is full of interest and promise. Many of her fans will agree with her and Heart Gallery is looking forward to Alison’s new work later in 2011 as she has plans to introduce papercuts.


14 thoughts on “Meet The Maker – Alison Read

  1. Hello Alison
    I met your prints in a gallery in Lincoln
    and fell under the charm of them

    I’m a french print maker, woodcarver and cut linoleum, I’ve found your prints very superb, funny, professionnal, and wish you very good luck in the future !
    sincerely
    jp

  2. Hi Alison

    Fell in love with your prints at The Watergate Street Gallery in Chester and came away with The Waif. Everyone who sees it, loves it and you now have a new army of fans !

    Alison de Melo

  3. I have just bought the Supermodel and the Hairdresser and love them. I’m looking for Hamish of a similar size but have only been able to find a small one. Is he available around the 40-50cm size please? Thanks. Michele

  4. Hi Alison, I’ve been lucky enough to purchase a small lino cut called ‘flying fox’, dated 1999. Do you have a historical galley on line? was this part of a series? was this a one off? Do you have any more information,
    Many thanks Sue

      1. Hi Sue, flying fox is a very old one of Alison’s (although she still probably has the block for it somewhere) … not a one off and Alison can’t remember if she editioned it or not. I believe you may have bought it at Hemswell Antique Centre perhaps as this seems to have been the only place to purchase this design from Alison. Hope this helps.

  5. Hi can anyone help me try to find out how to contact Alisn Read. I am a huge fan of her work and have lolliping Hare, Gymnast, Bad hair day, scruffy dog, Orphan to name but a few!
    My 28 year old cat has just died and she was the last of what I call “My Gang of Four” whom were by best friends for the past 20+ years. They include a Persian cat, a toy poodle and two sister moggies! I’ll cut to the chase as I would love Alison to commission something for me that depicts the eclectic bunch and gives me a smile when I look at it. I’m not after a pet portrait and wouldn’t insult Alison’s skils to ask for this. Basically, I can’t seem to find out how to contact Alison to see if I could commission this piece of work?
    Any help would be really appreciated.
    Lynn

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