For artist Alison Bignon, “Art is first and foremost an encounter.”
Her work draws on exchanges with ordinary people, and it is in her apartment in Clichy, Paris that the artist listens to and transcribes people’s life stories, creating them into art. These stories are carefully stored in what the artist terms “emotional data bank.” According to Alison, to capture the inner movements of the soul, one must be sensitive and empathetic listener and the subtle versatility of an artist in order to transcribe.
Combining her background and experience as a classically trained actor, director, and visual artist, Alison transcribes and creates the stories of her sitters using a range of media including videoed performance monologues, paintings, drawings and engravings. She describes this process as being similar to the work of an anthropologist that archives their research. Emotions form the central subject of Alison’s work, leaving one with an intricately detailed and complex composition that combines disparate elements to form a coherent and harmonic whole. Her paintings seep delicate strokes of colour – a spectrum of emotions, such as a painful wound that is difficult to heal and may scar over time. These markings of time – between past and present – are sewn together by the artist’s signature use of red thread, which acts as a subtle link between these intersections.