Granary Studio

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Alysn Midgelow Marsden

Here Alysn introduces herself

I clearly remember school sewing lessons.The first project was ashirt, andwas then allowed to create an abstract ‘composition’ with layers of coloured net and machine stitching.The realisation that sewing didn’t have to be lazy daisy, French Knots, zips or button holes was a revelation and a joy. At the samemoment I was also discovering ‘modern’ art – the likes of Monet, Picasso, Mondrian, Klee etc. and the thought that I could marry the two was the start of a (very) long term connection to fabric, stitch and art. This was put on hold somewhat during my academic studies during which Iwas awarded a Joint Honours Degree in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from Bangor University (Wales) and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Systematics from Loughborough University (UK).At around the same time, the return of a friend from his travels in Thailand and Nepal awakened in me a new fascination about the traditions of widely differing cultures and times. This scientific background and an interest in the natural environment and it’s connection with human existence is often combined in my process, whether or not it is obvious in the completed works.

This combination results, I hope, ina happy invention of form and conceptualization which conspires in the completed works to deliver acontemplative narrative. My pieces are rarely representational, but whatever their form, I am looking for an emotive response from the viewer.Overall,I aim to be at once personal and universal, disconcerting and fascinating.

Many works are composed of evocative forms and figures incorporated into surfaces articulated with complex, undulating, knotted and interwoven designs. Patterns emerge slowly as the work is viewed.They are often gentle, yet obsessive, exploiting the boundaries of the surfaces and creating dense yet subtle combinations.There may be patterns and figures in the works along with the working of a mostly unconscious human ancestral memory.A mosaic of forms and patterns which appear to move and change; swaying in the tides of unseen forces.

I have an experimental and curious nature leading to continuously evolving and changing worksand media, investigating new dimensions as they develop.Currently I am working primarily in copper, bronze, brass, stainless steel and pewter in the form of metal shims and woven metal fabricsand wires, combined with a variety of papers, fabrics, pens, paints, threads and natural objects .

I believe that I can now call myself an experienced artist, though I actually continually feel that I have only scratched the surface in terms of the possibilities of my chosen medium, and long may that continue!

Ilived in the Midlands of England for most of my life, and developed the Beetroot Tree Gallery, until moving to New Zealand in 2012. I now live in a beautiful coastal retreat about an hour north of Auckland (New Zealand’s largest city) and concentrate 100% of my time creating, writing and teaching (when not sneaking off to the beach for some rejuvenating walking, swimming and beachcombing – but please don’t tell my husband!). We have accommodation and workspace for visitors whenever they travel our way.

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