Alyson J Barton

Born in: England
Lives in: USA
Describe your art in three words: Sublime, Romantic, Atmospheric.
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Illumine - Chromogenic Silver Halide, 12 x 12 in., $850

Alyson studied fine art in Greater Manchester, England, graduating with a First Class BA Hons Degree in Fine Art and a Master of Arts before studying the traditional drawing and painting techniques of the Old Masters at the Atelier of Fine Art in Scotland. Alyson’s work is exhibited internationally, with gallery representation in Manchester, England, and New York City, and has won numerous awards.

What themes does your work involve?
My most recent body of work, “Remembered Land”, is inspired by nostalgic memories of the wild and beautiful English countryside of my childhood, and our relationship with nature, land, and place. Original oil paintings and alchemic chromogenic silver halide artworks embrace the philosophy of tonalist pictorialism, exploring the numinous, sublime atmosphere of the land and the eternal lacuna between memory and myth. Elements of emotionalism and romanticism emphasise expression, mood, mystery and the sublime through the use of colour, light, shadow, soft focus, abstract form, and atmospheric perspective. My work pays homage to the mystical, ethereal beauty of nature and the land, whilst recognising its fragile vulnerability in the face of climate change.
Describe your creative process.
Studying at the ARC Atelier of Fine Art in Edinburgh, Scotland inspired my passion for relearning creative techniques lost in time, leading to my interest and involvement in historic, chemical photographic techniques, including Wet Plate Collodion, Platinum, and Chromogenic processes. These processes have a mysterious, sublime quality of light which cannot be replicated with modern technology. Experimenting with ways to incorporate these beautiful, alchemic processes within my work, I developed new techniques to create unique, atmospheric, and often interdisciplinary artworks.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am influenced and inspired in my work in many ways – however the greatest inspiration is the sublime mystery of the natural world and our relationship with it. The German expressionist artist Max Beckmann famously stated, “If you want to touch the invisible, penetrate the visible as deeply as you can.” Spending time in the natural world, and endeavouring to experience and creatively portray the metaphysical elements of land and place, which are not easily discovered in everyday life, is a privileged and cathartic experience.
Mysteria - Oil on Wood Panel, 12 x 16 in., $2,995
And Dream of Sheep - Chromogenic Silver Halide, 12 x 12 in., $850
Nocturne (Sleeping Trees) - Chromogenic Silver Halide, 12 x 12 in., $850
Remembered Land - Oil on Wood Panel, 12 x 16 in., $2,995


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist