Alison Dunhill

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Alison Dunhill: Michelle Sommer's review


Largo das Artes International Art Residency Programme
Review of Alison Dunhill’s final exhibition
by Michelle Sommer, freelance curator



The minimalist gesture of collecting detritus found in the city transforms itself into poetry in the artist Alison Dunhill’s hands. The delicacy of the objects gathered and re-distributed find form in airy installations which gently touch the planes of ceiling, floor, walls and supports.

In Alison’s propositions we are invited to explore the universe as it unfolds its parts. Hypnotised, we discover that the form derives from the unification of mundane component parts. Among objects such as found metals, wire, diverse fabric pieces and small bits of plastic, structures emerge from of their everyday source into a strong poetic re-signification.

The act of collecting and re-signifying what is unnoticed and continually discarded in the over-consumption of our contemporary society becomes visible art through a process of juxtaposition. And it’s right there, in the connections and possibilities that emerge from the act of exposing what is otherwise lost – thinking from the triad of space-event-movement we are presented with the spatial rhythms of a visual choreography in Alison’s work.

Barthes defined the punctum as the sting, the small hole, the spot, or the cut, that pierces the order of sensory unconscious experience. In the artist’s work we can explore an expansion of Barthes’ concept, if we think of what is beyond the objectness of the objects and let in the emotional experience of the viewer, as the artist mobilises the viewer’s desire beyond the visual field.

Circulating between its parts is a diversity of punctums and punctal moments in apotheosis. The Brazilianness of the colours and textures (that beautiful rose-pink element of the sculpture on the ground!) is incorporated in the experiments with the possible in the propositions of the English artist. Here then, through the visual, is an open door to the possible.


Here are some images of work Alison Dunhill made during her Residency.

Information about her Residency at Largo das Artes is here.



                All images © Alison G Dunhill  Privacy policy