Alison Lochhead

The work made by Alison Lochhead reflects upon the memory of actions and experiences of people over time. The earth retains the marks made by humans and the memory of their presence and the injustices inflicted. War and conflicts have been going on since the beginning of humanity; but why? No war has resolved a problem.
My current work explores the social justice issues; and downright inhumanity; of war, conflict and oppression and the courage people have in fleeing their homelands in dire circumstances. To leave everything that is dear to you and undertake a journey of unimaginable uncertainties and fear, risking yourself as well as your children’s lives; because you have no choice but to try for survival; is extraordinary. When people get into the boats or step-out to cross the Sahara they have no idea what may happen or what their future may be. I put pieces in the kiln and have no idea what will emerge. I have no idea what it must be like getting into those boats.
I work in many dimensions; paintings, wall pieces as well as three dimensional sculpture using clay, iron, glass; mixed media; and some film. My current work represents the boats full of people trying to gain safety; and shoes which people have trodden vast distances in to gain another life; transformed through molten iron being poured into them. These shoes either become a shadow of what was there or retain much of their form. They cannot be destroyed and always retain the story of the person who was wearing them. What do you think when you come across an abandoned shoe? What story does it hold? Where is the person who wore it? There are 65 million people fleeing from their homes worldwide as it is not safe to stay. This will only increase; meantime countries close their borders, put up the drawbridges and expose their inhumanity to the human race.
My work also explores the destruction of identities and histories through bombing of libraries, but the words and histories cannot be destroyed.
As individuals or groups, there is a lot we can do to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. We have all the potential tools, skills and laws needed to abolish war. So why do we continue to wreak such devastation on humanity and the whole world?
For about 40 years I have worked for women’s rights to access justice in many areas of the world, including Middle East, Africa and Asia. My experiences are reflected in my sculptures.


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