Installing my work…

Myfanwy and my colleagues from my space helped to decide the best order for the paintings. As when in person, and once their position was decided, it became clear that I needed to readdress their order. We decided on using the paintings that had a natural edge to them to be at either far side, as a kind of finishing point. The one placed in the middle was the image taken from a birds eye view thet had a central focus. Then the others fitted in depending on their colours and how they contrasted and matched.

I had to screw my battons into the wall so that my paintings could hang on them. I found most to be an easy install, however when trying to measure up the paintings against each other it was at times a real test of trial and error. As each painting had its batton piece screwed into it’s back, and because of their construction – each painting was individual to the other and consequently made it very difficult to get correct.

But with the help of Callum and others I was able to lay them out on the wall, equally spaced apart and at the right viewing hight.




FMP Preliminary Evaluation

Before I fully assess my FMP after the private view, I wanted to briefly summarise my work…

I have finished 5 final pieces, all of which are painted oil and pastel on wood, (which is itself found and scrap wood assembled together). I decided against the conventional use of canvas, as wood would be better to help represent the struggle the refugees face out at sea, and at the various hosting countries. It was also an idea I had for my ceramics, that the material and making process would have a relationship to the subject itself, and to use scrap wood, like a raft, would help ground and tie those links.

I decided against the ceramics, as I found my attention was being straddled between two different ideas that didn’t fit together. If I had remained very conceptual, focussing on the materials, as opposed to the Romantic idea, I believe then it would have been appropriate. However since then, I found I naturally grew to the image of a mother ‘vessel’ figure, or even the simplest figurative representation in order to help bolden the Romantic thoughts and feelings I wanted to promote.

The Romantic vision I had for my FMP, was based in research I had made into the Symbolist movement, as well as the topical hostility I felt the media was relentlessly developing towards every political issue that may ebb danger. From various news articles, what was clear was how we needed a positive outlook in times of such negativity, and thus this utopian idea of a mother figure welcoming in children into her arms for safety, and comfort etc. was the very message I wanted.

Yet, the more and more I identified with this concept, I felt how I was distancing myself from doing justice towards the subjects of my work, in this case, the refugees. Hence why, it made sense to revisit those news articles and to look for my visual source there, instead of fictitiously representing what I felt was needed. I found a way to use paint to address both the need for the Romantic language, but the honesty and the truth to be also present in the image.

I hope that my works have carried these messages across. I hope that they are bold in colour and powerful in feeling, and that they shouldn’t be defined as either figurative or abstract in order to remove any kind of normalisation a category could have. I am aware of art’s position in protest, and I remove myself from identifying with any particular movement as I do not want the art’s impact to be affected by the artist behind it.  I would instead like to leave it to the viewer to decide for themselves.  I will use the title’s to suggest the context, but I do not wish to feed thoughts and feelings any farther at that.

We need Family Values to respond to the Refugee Crisis.

Alison Tutorial

Course Files:

  • Dividers/ post it notes
  • Tutorial forms
  • Time plans
  • Bibliography
  • requirements form proposal
  • Drafts of texts


  • Post it notes…


  • 3x research
  • 2X developments – annotation needed…
  • Ceramics sheet and analyse why not


  • Print best examples put on sheet
  • Evaluate why not using ceramics


  • Trial word paintings


= means ‘Family’ in Arabic.

As I had originally intended my ceramics to be very conceptual, and full of meaning, I also want to transfer those same concepts into my paintings.

I wanted to paint Arabic and the various languages of the countries affected onto the appropriate ceramics, saying fact such as “63.91 million persons of concern globally…” or even synonyms for different family values, like – “security”, “comfort”, “kindness”…

As of now, it makes sense to include these somewhere, but to be more specific towards each painting. So perhaps attributing a unique family value to the title or piece description, or even making individual painted signs out of wood to accompany the paintings themselves.

Here are some examples:

Loyalty in Arabic – وَفاء

Guidance in Urdu – رہنمائی

Comfort in Pashto – ارام

Faith in French – Foi



I will attribute quotes from the articles that I have sourced for imagery, as the titles of my pieces.

Here are some:

Rescue at Sea: On Board a Refugee Recovery Ship

…Her daughter came right up to me. “My name is Comfort,” she said. “I want to go to school.”

…A baby being taken on to MSF’s Bourbon Argos ship from a boat carrying 130 migrants and refugees

…A baby among refugees on a boat carrying 185 people off the coast of Libya

…A boy carrying a baby is stopped by a Hungarian policeman as he tries to escape the refugee and migrant collection point in Roszke village, Hungary

…In this Friday, May 27, 2016 photo, a Sea-Watch humanitarian organization crew member holds a drowned migrant baby, during a rescue operation off the coasts of Libya. Survivor accounts have pushed to more than 700 the number of migrants feared dead in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over three days in the past week, even as rescue ships saved thousands of others in daring operations.

No longer using ceramics…

After receiving my bisque fired pieces from the kiln I had to decide whether or not I would be able to take on the ceramics alongside the paintings.


Hence over the course of the last few weeks I have been juggling the two projects, and the more my time was split between them, the more unnatural the two ideas felt side by side. I made the decision not to continue with the ceramics as I had previously explored this already, and I felt satisfied with the depth of exploration. Whereas I had spent my foundation deliberately avoiding painting in order to try new techniques and materials, but it has instead meant that this time spent away from painting has made my need to use paint even more immediate.

The process and approach I had been using with the pastel sketches in my sketchbook had also felt so natural to me. This was my indication to concentrate on my paintings.

There’s something in painting that to me will always speak to me, as if another language, I can read into it and understand and feel the emotions and meanings within. Therefore, as I had chosen to paint refugees in this Romantic manner, it seemed only appropriate to be abstract with paint than to be abstract in meaning with ceramics.

Artists like Ai Wei Wei also made me feel like I couldn’t use ceramics, when I had no traditional background in them, and regardless of my physical style, I felt either outcome would not fit with my Romantic idea.


Current Progress…

The paintings are a constant back and forth with the colour, and the detail.

I explore through each one something different, and therefore something else to either help fix the others, or even to learn from what not to do again in the next ones.

This is finished
This needs work
This is almost finished…

Either they are right or they aren’t, so I will just continue to make more, and I will continue to experiment and capitalise on what works best in terms of colour and mark making.