Alison Tootell - Fine Artist

My name is Alison Tootell and I am a fine artist based in Lancashire, England. I graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston, Lancashire, with a Masters Degree in Fine Art: Studio Practice in September 2014. This was a continuation of the project work I did to gain a BA (Hons) Degree in Drawing and Image Making, in July 2012, which followed on from a Foundation Degree in Fine Art, at Runshaw Adult College, Euxton, Lancs during 2008 to 2010.
Copyright Alison Tootell 2015. All rights reserved.
I have been producing drawings and paintings based upon my life-long interest in historical and industrial architecture and ruins, specifically interested with the way that these structures can be used to represent the socio-political issues surrounding the abandonment, modernisation, and demolition of a variety of structures around the UK. Spending my life in Lancashire, the destruction of the cotton mills and other industrial units is an issue I feel very strongly about, and (instead of utilising these often stunning edifices) having them erased from society to make way for ever increasing private and social housing, is a practice that needs to be strongly reconsidered.
Livesey Award for University Course Representatives 2012-2014
NADFAS North West Bursary Runner-Up 2012
2011 : Bolton Abbey, Church of St Cuthberts & St Mary, Skipton, North Yorkshire.
2014 : MA Degree Show, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire
2014 : Atkinson Gallery, Millfield School, Street, Somerset.
2013 : The Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire.
2012 : BA Degree Show, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire
2010 : Worden Craft Centre, Worden Park, Leyland, Lancashire.
Voluntary Work / Work Experience
2015 : Volunteer work at the Harris Museum with Preston College Art Tutors assisting Astley School students with drawing and collage tasks.
2014 : 6 x 2.5 hour Drawing Workshops for Year 4 pupils at Ashleigh Primary School, Darwen
2013 : Drawing Workshop for the Visually Impaired, The Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire.
My drawings of industrial and institutional buildings, are representational - with no intention of becoming truly photorealistic - and their detailed execution, as well as the length of time taken to produce, allows me to consider the economic and political factors that influence these abandonments, and therefore questions the social consequences, not only of their closure, but also of the changes to the local community. My paintings, by contrast, focus entirely on churches. My love of medieval and other pre-1900s churches, is purely an attempt to preserve their ornate and often highly decorative architecture (particularly the stained glass windows), because of a disturbing trend in converting those with few congregants - which has also altered the social structure within those communities.

Within all these artworks, I attempt as much correct detail as possible to demonstrate respect and reverence to each building/project as a way to preserve and almost memorialise them, even occasionally through the demolition process. For the abandoned buildings, my chosen medium is predominantly lead and graphite pencil on Archers 100% HP Cotton paper, but the fourth series of drawings (& onwards) have sections of coloured pencil within them, which reflects the structures' current context within society. In my earlier pieces, I have deliberately abandoned my drawings, representing the various stages of abandonment, to reflect the condition of the buildings themselves. The paintings are all produced using Daniel Smith Mineral Watercolour paints, on Archers 100% hot pressed cotton paper.

Thank you for visiting my website.
Kindest Regards
2013 : Artist Talk and Drawing Workshop, The Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire.
2013 : Artist Talk, Christ Church Charnock Richard Primary School, Chorley, Lancashire.
2012 : Artist Talk, Fulwood Academy, Preston, Lancashire.
2011 : Artist in Residence, Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire.
M.A. Fine Art Studio Practice
B.A. (Hons) Drawing & Image Making
FdA Fine Art