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People will find their Way to this project both through a concern for health/wellbeing and/or an interest in art, iconography, mythology,culture.  If you would like to share a link of such relevance we would be pleased to hear from you.  In the meantime, Alison has gathered some links and pieces of information that in one way or another are relevant to the project: organisations that have helped her, poems that have inspired her, sites that have informed her thinking.




Aberdeen Arts Centre is an inclusive community hub which hosts arts activities across a wide demographic. 

The Arts Centre not only provided the first and largest venue for The Way Through exhibition but meeting room space for the planning of the project, publicity, professional contacts and invaluable support and encouragement.


a-n membership opens up a range of benefits for artists, arts professionals and students.

Alison found them an invaluable help with insurance.


Mearns Writers welcomes new and practising writers. The group exists to support and promote creative writing of all kinds in the area south of Aberdeen.

Alison is a member of the group and delivered a workshop using the Way Through Art as an impetus.


Stephanie Vandem provided an exhibiting professional artists eye to the curation of the Way Through exhibition back in autumn 2017


Johnshaven Heritage Hub is the second of the venues for the exhibition.. 

(Alison lives in Johnshaven) 


Tim Langford made the film “Paint Yourself Brave” being launched at Johnshaven Heritage Hub in April 2018.


Kelly Cairns provided an exhibiting professional artists eye to the hanging of the Way Through exhibition at Aberdeen Arts Centre


Phil Thompson created the Way Through exhibition catalogue.


A proportion of The Way Through pictures were framed by A principle of the project has been to use social enterprises wherever possible alongside local SMEs and young entrepreneurs


Other pictures were framed expertly by Castlegate Frames


The Way Through Project has been supported by ACVO (just a step away from Bosies and Castlegate Frames) in terms of advice on constituting a group, insurance, volunteer health and safety, postal address, meeting room space, publicity, promotional opportunities.


Susan Cassie provided early support in the development of what became The Suitcase in The Way Through Project



MacMillan provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care.

Alison found it very helpful that she was referred to Macmillan by her GP, were up to date with her medical records and visited her in her own (rural) home.


Maggies Aberdeen’s professional staff offer  advice and support in a warm and welcoming environment.

Alison found it helpful, when she popped in, to have professional staff to help her understand some of the words she was hearing from clinicians.


Friends of Anchor supports the Anchor Unit At ARI  ANCHOR' stands for Aberdeen and North Centre for Haematology, Oncology and Radiotherapy.

Alison particularly benefited from the podiatry and psychology services supported by Friends of Anchor.  FoA Chairman Jimmy Milne completed the funding for The Way Through Project.


CLAN Cancer Support provides emotional and practical support to people affected by cancer, their family, carers and friends in Aberdeen and Nortthern Scotland.


Communicating with and involving patients and the general public is a key priority for The Baird Family Hospital and The ANCHOR Centre Project.

Both parties are exploring how The Way Through Project can benefit patients.


The NHS Grampian Health Village delivers diagnostic and treatment services for the people of Aberdeen and Grampian.. The Health Village helps people to remain well, independent and in their own communities where appropriate.


VSA provides support to adult and young carers throughout Aberdeen City and has specialist support for mental illness including weekend day care and home support for those suffering from dementia and for their carers.


The Way Through Catalogues are sold in aid of

Alison encountered Rabbi G while visiting the Red Cross Childrens Hospital in Capetown at the end of her own chemotheraphy. She was captivated by an unaccompanied 3 year old African girl in a red hood absorbed with the deep breathing she was being taught.


Handily just across the road from Castelgate Frames is Bosies.


Way Through is about mental wellbeing as well as life-threatening illnesss in a physical sense MHA provides support services, counselling and advice to adults, young people and children affected by challenges related to mental health and wellbeing.


Aberdeen  Wellbeing Centre is Aberdeen’s only one-stop shop for ALL things healthy, wholesome, authentic and wellbeing.


Marie Curie Services help people living with any terminal illness, and their families, make the most of the time they have left.


CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families.

Sunrise Partnership offers a free, confidential service for children and young people up to age 18 who have been affected by loss and bereavement.

In 1933 Federico Garcia Lorca said “The duende ... is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. I have heard an old maestro of the guitar say,”The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.’. “Duende” is the title of one of Alison’s pictures and several others illustrate the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca “The Faithless Wife” and “Gracela of the Dark Death”


The apple has made its way into the traditions, stories and myths of many different cultures around the world.

Alison uses the apple to evoke her core strength.


From this site Alison found the concept of “Arise in Brilliance” which she used in several different pictures whether about her own situation, about the Grenfell Tower protestors or about her daughter’s career


Jung says “Before artistic work is born it is a force of nature either powerful or cunning. The creative urge lives and grows in him like a tree in the earth from which it draws its nourishment.





One of Alison’s pictures illustrates this poem from Chilean Pablo Neruda


The name of the Way project has multiple interpretations. One is the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Way of St James, which Alison experienced in 1977 and 2015.  It is the golden road or path through many of her pictures


Salamanders have long held a significant place in the folklore and mythology of many different countries around the world. 

They appear in Alison’s pictures because, like the phoenix, they are said to rise from fire but also because they are found on the Camino through Galicia in NW Spain and because they remind her of a childhood with amphibians!  She used them in picture “ Nourishing” because in Aboriginal art such creatures represent food.


There is no written language for Australian Aboriginal People so in order to convey their important cultural stories through the generations it is portrayed by symbols/icons through their artwork. Finding words difficult, Alison was inspired by story telling in other cultures

Alison’s mother sang her a version of this song and she uses the image of a seagull to evoke the strong DNA of her sailor grandfather born in 1879.


The white stag was always something to be desired yet always out of reach. Always leading the hunt onwards to a destiny ordained by the gods

It appears in one of Alison’s pictures for that reason.


Alison painted angels, chrubs and 6-winged seraphim in several paintings. For Alison, angels, cherubim and seraphim are internal guardians to evoke. Perhaps they are instincts or race memory.


“there are various kinds of wolves.. .. charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all. Alison uses the red cloak to evoke reclaiming female strength. For her wolves represent fear for the simple reason that she is scared of dogs.

Having read ‘Eat Pray Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert (which she did not enjoy), Alison used the So Hum mantra she heard of there to teach herself meditation and deep breathing.  This inspired the picture ‘Flying out of Bed’ to express the smooth and pain-free movement she was able to achieve as a result. Later she discovered this choir piece and played it while painting at home

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