In my paintings I try to conjure up strange and unsettling worlds where all is not entirely at ease. Humour, the absurd and private jokes abound in strange unsettling landscapes. Bizarre figures are recurring motifs. They frequently make guest appearances in the paintings and sometimes take centre stage. They are tragi-comic attempts to communicate a range of thoughts and emotions through the medium of painting.
My work draws from a variety of eclectic influences from ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. From the classical painting of the 17th century, to the writing of Stephen King, James Joyce and the humourist Ivor Cutler. I frequently return to motifs and imagery and reuse and rework them into other paintings. I consider my paintings as visual problem solving. I focus on how imagery interacts with the intrinsic qualities of paint, how the paint material moves and how it can be played with. The quality of paint handling, although seemingly casual, is a result of repeated attempts at getting something ‘right’. Most of my work starts with drawing in a playful way, sometimes re-using motifs and images from other paintings as a way of generating narratives or stories for the viewer. I always feel as if I am chasing as image through the material of paint, trying to track it down. I like to consider how words and images might work for the viewer and I think about my paintings as quasi- narratives. I am often inspired by literature and ho prose functions. I attempt to create visual prose, to conjure images for the viewer. In this recent series of work I am thinking about ‘hollows’ as visual and psychological spaces that we might inhabit.
Alison Pilkington completed a practice led PhD in painting at National College Art and Design Dublin awarded in 2015.
In 2012 she was awarded a British Institution Award for painting at the Royal Academy Summer Show London, She has been selected for the Marmite Painting Prize, London 2012 and 2016. She was shortlisted for the Kurt Beers 100 Painters of Tomorrow publication (2013). She was 3rd prizewinner at the Artslant International Jurors Award in Dec 2013.
Recent exhibitions include: AntiFreeze, Online Curated by Cassandra Bowes @the-arts-editor (2020) To Paint the Gloom Itself, Terrace Gallery London, 2020, Will We Remember Volcanoes at Westminster Art Library London, Strangelands at Collyer Bristow Gallery London, Contemporary British Painting, touring exhibition to 4 Museums in China. Sept 2017 to January 2018, June 2018 How We Roam, The Dock Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim
Ashford Gallery RHA, Dublin, September 2018.
She lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.