Alison Mitchell is a visual artist based near Riverton in regional South Australia. Self-taught, her work responds to the seasonal changes of her environment, is underpinned by a timeless tradition of careful observation from life and informed by her studies in anthropology, University of Adelaide, BA (Hons). Born in Malaysia, she came to Australia with her family and as a child was nourished in a bountiful garden and regularly immersed in the beauty of the Australian bush. These things too have informed her creativity.
She has exhibited regularly in South Australia for over three decades, recently at the Arcadia Contemporary Gallery, New York and her work is held in numerous private collections, both in Australia and overseas. She has been a finalist in several national art prizes, including the Portia Geach, EMSLA and Doug Moran. An ongoing project is her exhibition ‘Unlemon – a meandering tale of citrus’, which has been on a national tour of regional galleries courtesy of the Regional Arts Fund, since its inception in the Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide Botanic Garden.
“As I paint and let my eyes gradually attune, I begin to see subtle gradations of light, shifts of perspective and intimate nuances of reality. Painting is a dance, sometimes awkward, sometimes sublime. I am happiest if I have managed to see and paint some aspect that heightens perception of the subject. I paint to ‘feel’ with my eyes, to feel the world afresh.”
“Painting is a compulsion. Lately I have become known for my still life paintings, but these follow on from decades of life drawing practice and years of en plein air landscapes. I really prefer not to categorise – they are all the result of looking deeply, without the aid of photographs, and putting down, in paint, what is seen. My still life studio is my refuge though – a quiet place, an alone place – where I feel as if time stands still.”