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Alyson Minkley

Alyson Minkley

Alyson Minkley

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Trained in sculpture at Kingston, graduated 1990, my early career was in environment & community arts. Disenfranchised by neo-liberal expectations for growth and improvement through the arts as cultural-substitution for social-services, I made a career-shift into education, spending fifteen years challenging diminishing creativity and critical-thinking in the secondary curriculum. Recently returned to practice: selected opens RWA, FAB, 44AD, & solo, The-Art-Cohort. Active member of SpacePlacePractice & Creative Corporeality research groups. Commissions include award-winning RiV & residencies in Wiltshire & Cornwall. Shortlisted Visions of Science ArtPrize, winner Porthleven Prize & Bath SPARKS.


Instagram: @alysonminkley


Artist Statement

Despite sculptural training, my practice is not material-led; ideologically it questions materiality in over-consumption, anti-consumerism and ecocide. I use materials to embody labour and convey meaning in contextual association. Investment in process develops dialogue, shaping outcomes in a respectful dance between material and maker. Tension plays between traditional solid-state materials and transient contemporary digital media. I mould thought and feeling as malleable material. Exploring experimental balance between intuition/response and research/skill, embodying ideas to evoke phenomenological reflection & enquiry. 


Themes include paradox of didactic systems in an age-of-information, political and social manipulation through media and education, challenging social-constructs of age, gender and neuro-normality, and cataloguing embodied social anthropology. As antithesis to working in secondary education and with an inescapable lens of dyspraxia, I advocate curiosity, play and interaction, testing ideas, questioning boundaries and connecting cross-discipline; this is evident both as outcome and process. I collaborate with experts in wider-fields, e.g. ‘Human Murmuration’ involved consultation in behavioural psychology, musical composition and collaboration with a creative coder. 


Art as a vehicle to engender dialogue is recurrent throughout my projects. Ideas sparked through chance encounters and developed in consultation and debate. Labour-intensive making processes create opportunity for reflection through conversation and, when participation is involved, conversations can become material for making, embodied or in spoken word/text form. ‘Haptic Traces’ performance drawing series uses written text - snippets of dialogue, news broadcasts and reflective thought post-lockdown to physically surround and contain me. Folklore, industrial history and personal tales of local people, gathered in-residence, are embodied in precariously-balanced sculptures created for the Porthleven Prize in response to Cornish post-referendum social-politics.


In short, my practice is socially-engaged, experiential and contemporarily topical, while my approach is cross-discipline with dialogue and embodiment as enduring methodologies.

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