Introducing Alison Dent â€“ following her recent wins at the local Waste 2 Art Exhibition, we thought weâ€™d ask her all about her sculptural and installation pieces that bring home the titles each year. Alison is the fifth face in this new section. Each month we are tracking down our clever locals doing fabulous things for the local arts scene to ask them a few questions.
Hello, what is your name and how old are you?
Your work has been exhibited at a number of prestigious festivals and locations including in Australia and overseasâ€¦tell us about that!Â
Loved doing the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney and Â Lambrig near Canberra which is a particularly interesting farm on the Murrumbidgee River.Â It is the original home of the Farrer family who bred rust resistant wheat there in 1903.Â Â A great story in Australian history and the Farrers are buried on the property overlooking the river.Â Of course, Rosby at Mudgeeâ€”Sculptures in the Gardenâ€”is a favourite place of mine to exhibit annually.Â This all takes a lot of effort and energy, so I am never sure if I shall make an event!! I havenâ€™t exhibited outside Australia however a few pieces have been purchased and taken overseas.
How would you describe your style?Â
Original, rustic.Â I really love making lamps as this is a way to enhance an old piece and make it useful and attractive.Â Finding scraps and working out a way to make it become a sculptural piece is really fun. When someone buys it for a special spotâ€”well, that makes it so worthwhileâ€”notÂ from a money point of view, but for creative satisfaction.
What inspires your creations and what process do you use when coming up with new installations and pieces?Â
Thank goodness for Google and Pinterest.Â Â It just helps to find inspiration for putting pieces together.Â I may look at something for a year or two before I work out what to do with it and then again, I may pick something up and it immediately has a new life, such as a piece I am working on at the moment which I found under a tree down the paddock here.Â Mind you, I have walked over it for 40 years and not given it any thought! Â There are also specific requests which are challenging.
What else have you been up to?Â
A lot has been happening here with the garden and various sculptures.Â It has been looking really good. Everything seems to be finding its place amongst the greenery, which is the way it should be.
Why do you think itâ€™s important to provide creative outlets and opportunities for people, especially in regional areas which may be facing social and environmental issues?Â
The best thing an isolated, rural community can do to attract people to the area and support local art is to really concentrate on beautification of the town through artâ€”sustainable art works.Â This must be supported by the Council and the community.Â Projects need to be thought through, well planned and engage everyone interested, especially youth.Â We need to take off the blinkers and look at the amazing art around Australia and around the world and how it attracts people to these towns/regions.Â A very good example of this is Walchaâ€”a town on the road to nowhereâ€”well, one avoids that bad road down the mountains whenever possible.Â However, people flock to Walcha to see the sculptures all through the town.Â They are wonderful.Â Drive through Queensland and it appears every town has an attraction to stop travellers and entice them to investigate.Â There is so much that can be done and it doesnâ€™t need a fortune to do itâ€”just Council support!
What have you got coming up?Â
I shall have a few pieces for Rosby, I hope.Â Also, there is Sculptures in the Paddock near Yass which would be fun.Â However, I have been invited to Melbourne, but at the moment that sounds exhausting!Â There are so many places to go, it is just a case of doing something suitable and finding the energy to get there.Â Transport and installation is hard work!Â I do have one big commission hanging over me, which I need to complete asap.
What other artistic developments would you like to see occur in our region?Â
Coonamble needs to beautify the main street.Â Having pulled the trees out, it will take 20 years to replace them.Â There are great places and opportunities there for art and other attractants.Â Right throughout the region this needs to happen and it needs to be uniquely this region so that it draws people to visit.
What would you be doing if you weren’t creating sculptures at home?
Spending more time with my grandchildren and travelling!
Where can we see more of your stuff?Â
There isnâ€™t a lot to see at the moment.Â However, the Warrington shed on the highway to Walgett is looking great.Â I also, have installations in an industrial estate in Sydney and several vineyards which have all been commissions.
Lastly, Beatles or the Stones?
Love them both but the Beach Boys and Bee Gees are my favourites.