Alison Dickens makes organic, sculptural forms in willow from sustainable sources in Somerset. She also produces delicate plaited vessels in bark and other plant materials harvested from hedgerows, gardens and roundabouts.
Alison’s baskets are contemporary in form, yet they call on a rich and varied craft tradition. Her pieces visually echo the high and low curves of spare open landscapes: the Yorkshire Dales and Wolds, Norfolk and Suffolk coasts, estuaries and tidal mudflats; and the forms and patterns made by water, wind and wave. Her willow vessels are made using the rope-wale weave, which involves adding a new rod at every stroke and weaving with a bundle of willow. The technique is slow and time-consuming, however the artist comments that, ‘I love the sense of movement it creates and feel it best evokes the landscape forms and forces that guide me.’
Alison was selected for the London Creative Network programme in 2018 and won the Cockpit Arts/ The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers’ Award in 2019. In the same year, her work was included in the major exhibition Basketry - Function and Ornament at Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales.