The Way Through Project as funded in 2017/18 came to an end in July
2018 with the Transition Extreme exhibition opened by the Lord Provost
of Aberdeen. Since then Alison has taken over all its running herself
and is now set up as a sole trader, using painting sales etc to finance
materials and time spent on collaborative projects always with the aim
of wringing as much universal good as possible from the experiences of
Here is a quick run down of what has happened since September 2018
(more information is available at Who’s Who):
As part of Aberdeen Inspired’s Painted Doors Aberdeen project to brighten up the Business Improvement District of the city centre, Alison is commissioned to paint a “Way Through” onto a large concreted up
door on an A road through the City. A real path will be created leading up to Alison’s painted path through the newly created wildflower meadow and local children will be encouraged to create painted pebbles to express their feelings. Glass artist Shelagh Swanson will run a workshop for the public to create glass pebbles to affix to Alison’s picture. Transition Arts participants will bring and decorate pebbles from an excursion to Johnshaven. The pebbles refer to those that pilgrims leave on the Camino de Santiago de
Compostela (Way of St James) which gives this project its name and image of
the golden path.
In October 2018, Alison returned to the Camino de Santiago de Compostela with Tess Day just as she had spoken of doing in the Crowd funding campaign of 2017. The pilgrimage was funded by painting sales. It generated a whole new range of images and painting styles to
fill the winter months and the exhibition walls of 2019. It also contributed to an up-date of the manuscript of Alison’s memoir “Walking Backwards (Up an Apostle’s Nose)” being self-published with professional help in July 2019. The Camino, the painting and writing of
it have become the subject of a new film “Painting my Pilgrimage” by fourth year film student Charlotte Rochford also being released in July 2019.
In January 2019 “Painting myself Brave” won Best Documentary in the One Reel Awards in Los Angeles
Exhibitions have continued with a return to Transition Extreme in February 2019 and Johnshaven Heritage Hub in March. The latter generated 350 footfalls in the month and included a collaboration with Johnshaven Primary School pupils. The children had been inspired by the film Painting Myself Brave and produced their own images on the theme of self-expression with the help of a visit from Alison to the school. The whole school visited the Way Through exhibition during the month. Alison was one of four participants in a Women in Arts Spotlight event in Aberdeen and launched the Wish Fish. Based on the red fish which she encountered on Camino which has become a symbol of joy, the Wish Fish is an interactive artwork in which participants write wishes for themselves or others onto scales which are then fixed to the mixed media fish.
In April Alison delivered a one hour talk and presentation to Arbroath Artists Society. In May Way Through went to St Margaret’s Centre in Braemar again drawing in good footfall to this important building and for one day Alison was also part of an exhibition at The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen raising funds from painting sales for Charlie’s House which provides support for families of children with significant support needs. Alison donated 50% of painting sales to the charity in recognition of its support for close friends in Johnshaven.
Through Louise Baxter, Alison had been fortunate enough to be introduced to Sandy Nairn leading to a collaboration with the Maggies Centres across Scotland. She will be featured artist in the Maggies Culture Crawls in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh between June and October 2019. 20% of picture sales will go to the charity and The Wish Fish will go into action again. In July 2019 there will be a major exhibition at CLAN Cancer Care in Aberdeen and Alison will donate a dozen of her early paintings to decorate the CLAN Haven accommodation for people affected by cancer. There will be two Meet the Artists events and Alison aims to launch her memoire “Walking Backwards (Up an Apostle’s Nose)” at the
second of these on 25 th July – St James Day. In September Alison will once again be part of North East Open Studios (NEOS) in Johnshaven.