Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The Story behind the Story

Alison Keenan, Avian Fables 3 (2015)
Alison Keenan’s paintings explore stories in the surreal bodies of land and water, aided by avian guides, harbingers of seasonal and environmental change. These avian guides alert the viewer to a territorial power struggle. The constructed story shows a change in scale and perspective: angry birds eye their occupied territory from this perspective. From a bird’s eye view, there is a claim to land currently occupied rather than shared for mutual coexistence, and an aggressive stance invites speculation about each bird’s next move.

In her own words, Alison Keenan tells the story behind the story of her series on show in Telling Stories: a visual art exhibition. 
When I create a new body of work I often think of the possibilities of a series of paintings or drawings. Images/ideas start to percolate at the research level- although the process often starts with note taking, loose papers/jottings, conversations.
A gift of binoculars was the entry point for sweeping the skyline and focusing on wildlife. At some point I began to recognise bird migrations in spring and fall and realized that the life patterns and survival of birds was completely reliant and to some extent controlled by environmental climate changes. During many conversations/discussions, my observations on the changing weather patterns and human behaviour now shifted to the plight and narrative of birdlife.

Alison Keenan's work is currently featured in the current Emily Carr Alumni Calendar.  

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