Recent paintings by Alison McIntosh


2020 for so many of us was a dark year of isolation, heart breaking news and a need for
communion and connection with our family and friends. For Alison like many other artists, isolation
was nothing new, but for the community around her there was a significant change. Peoples
responses to the lockdown, their introspection and new found challenges became the basis for a
body of new work.
Her work is optimistic and creates a narrative, recording the connection others
made within their difficult and limited boundaries. Through the use of strong vibrant colours and
layering of rich glazes, Alison’s paintings illuminate these discoveries and draws our attention to
the beauty that exists in a simple life.
They are a record, a time capsule of a year that won’t easily be forgotten.

The stories behind the paintings:
“The Journey”. “Passage”. “Drifting”. “The Reef”.
These four works were inspired by a book by Vivian Pham, called “The Coconut Children”. A story
beginning with the perils of the boat people and refugee families navigating their new life, faced
with isolation, loneliness and many other challenges. It was a great starting point for this collection
of work. Its main character, a teenage girl, burdened with tragedy from her family’s epic voyage.
She was the “innocent” in the story. In “Passage”, I wanted to express her vulnerability as she is
buffeted through adolescence.

“The Garden”. “The vegetable garden”. “Gardening companion”
While working in my studio I often listen to the radio and love hearing how people were coping with
“lockdown”. From baking bread to landscaping the backyard, it seemed a time of new found
challenges. During this time, there was plenty of bleak and disturbing news, but hearing people’s
stories became truly uplifting. It was heartening to hear of the resilience and determination that
existed within communities.

“The dog beach”. “Hiding”. “Night walk”. “The flight of the owl”. “Flight path”. “Bird friend”
These paintings are in a sense about my life. Living close to the Otways, I am privileged to see and
experience so much of these superb birds and animals. It is something I never take for granted and
wanted simply to record how these wonders exist and perhaps it takes a pandemic for others to
seek these hidden wonders