When I found this backpack on the beach, with its riveted label Migrator, I was already making work about notions of home, about temporary and makeshift encampments. I was using wool blankets as the most basic comfort, the first shelter. This chance discovery on the beach focused my thinking about displacement and homelessness. The packed and stacked house forms tilt and intersect, a precarious load.
Visual artist Alison Clouston works in sculpture, installation, performance, public art, and drawing, to explore the human place within the rest of nature. Often in collaboration with musician composer and sound artist Boyd, she creates imaginary worlds in immersive installations, often interactive and participatory, sometimes solar powered and always carbon audited and offset.
She has exhibited in Australian sculpture surveys since Mildura and the First and Second Australian Sculpture Triennials, from Australian Perspecta at AGNSW to Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum 2008, with many solo exhibitions in NZ and Australia. She was artist-in-residence with Tjanpi Desert Weavers and co-exhibitor with them and Maria Fernanda Cardoso for Kuru Alala: eyes open, Gold Coast City Art Gallery 2009, and national tour. In 2015 she created a major installation with Joan Clouston for Daughters Mothers (Future Feminist Archive) curated by Jacqueline Milner at SCA Galleries, Sydney.
Alison Clouston and Boyd’s recent projects include the art/citizen science installation Tree (hollowed in) for Wonder: Contemporary Art For Children at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Sydney; On Clover 2014, a performance and video for the Falland International Artists Project, Norway; two interactive works for Bimblebox: art – science – nature Redland Gallery 2014 and touring nationally until 2017; What Lies Beneath? Goulburn Regional Gallery 2013; Salvage 2013 for Cementa_13; and Dust 2011, Articulate Project Space, Sydney. Throughout 2017 Clouston and Boyd devised NatureLovers, working with more than 40 crossdisciplinary artists and local people for a performance and installation for Planet Nowra, a Bundanon Trust project, with support from the Australian Government's Catalyst fund. In 2018 Clouston was among twelve artists selected to work with scientists on threatened species in NSW, an Office of Environment and Heritage and Orana Arts project called The Art of Threatened Species, to be launched at the Western Plains Cultural Centre. Clouston’s work is held in Australian national and regional gallery collections and in university and private collections.
found Migrator backpack, woollen blankets, aluminium, woollen yarn
71 x 61 x 55 cm
Alison Clouston, in conversation with Professor Ian Howard, discusses her work 'Migrator'. Recorded on 20 October 2018 at the 2018 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize exhibition, Woollahra Council.
Judges of the 2018 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Michael Lynch AO CBE (Australian Arts administrator, former Director of Sydney Opera House and former CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong) and Amanda Love (Director Loveart, independent Art Advisory).
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