Alison Hand

Alison Hand is an artist, writer, and art lecturer living and working in London. Hand holds an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, and has exhibited her paintings in London, across the UK, and internationally in Germany and Hong Kong. Hand’s work has won numerous awards, including the Basil Alkazzi Scholarship Award; the Gordon Luton Award, Painters’ and Stainers’ Guild; and the Stevenson Harwood Award. Hand is a published art writer, with commissions ranging from English Heritage to Blueprint magazine, and most recently a Writer’s Residency for Abstract Critical Journal. From 2008-2012, she was a Board Director for an arts organisation in Cumbria, and also undertook doctoral research into art and architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, winning a research grant to review art exhibitions in Spain. Hand has curated numerous shows, including a major show at Sheffield’s SIA Gallery. She also specialises in collaborative art and architecture projects, most recently completing a bespoke cladding design for a £4m London school. Hand is currently head of third year at the Art Academy, London.

“My work is about landscape – landscape as an experience; as a socio-political construct; and the representation of landscape. I am interested in the visual manifestation of ‘improvement’ in contemporary landscape, and the visual narratives of regeneration. I locate relationships such as that between the picturesque landscape painting tradition and contemporary representations of transformed space. Understanding of structure arises through the refocusing of place into painting, finding patterns and poetry, manipulating and foregrounding the surreal elements, using spatial structure, illusion and perspective to illuminate the meaning of the landscape, and the way we are meant to move around it and experience it. Sometimes surfaces are manipulated through an experimental materiality – plastic, glass, metal, acetate, lino, gloss, spray paints, Hammerite – these ‘real-world’ surfaces sit alongside illusory aspects of painting, revealing a tension between the representational image and its material construction. Sometimes darkness and murkiness conceals the landscape, piles of rubble and scaffolding sit waiting, lit like a romantic subject.”

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