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Embrace of the unknown

10 Jul 2018

Embrace of the unknown Image

By Niccola Anthony

A radiologist by day, Allison Rose has perfected the art of compartmentalising her sporadic lifestyle.

Her photographic works, too, are a testament to a life unperturbed by the mundanities of the 9-5 slog.

Of her professional life, Allison can be described as somewhat of a “maverick”.

When choosing to specialise in radiology after medical school, Allison became only the third woman in 25 years to be employed as a radiologist in her department.

It is this same “maverick” spirit – particularly, the feistiness of the avant-garde feminists of the 60s and 70s – that informs and inspires her latest collection My Mother’s Embrace.

The collection features a series of photographs titled Cosies, where urns wrapped in colourful crocheted blankets are placed over a background of clashing and contrasting rugs – an artistic ode to the feminist rebellion of the 60s and 70s.

The second half of the collection features a recognisably female form wrapped around these same crocheted blankets, in a way which Allison intended to look “very sculptural”.

The shape and form of the figure is submissive in her concealment, conveying a deeper message about the value of women’s work in society.

Although craft as a medium is beginning to penetrate the higher echelons of the arts world, Allison argues that craft, as an art form, has traditionally been considered low-brow by the art hierarchy.

“That was my tilt – to make high art from low craft. To attack the art hierarchy, which really undervalues craft as a medium and puts it at the bottom of the hierarchy and that’s partly because of the fact that craft is very gendered in Western civilisation and usually done by women,” says Allison of her works.

While the impetus for her collection is decidedly feminist, her works are influenced by a wider nostalgic sentiment.

The hand-crocheted blankets featured throughout belonged to Allison’s late mother, and were rediscovered recently in the wake of her passing.

Allison’s fond memories of her mother ignited the idea of wrapping a person in the blankets, as an attempt to mirror the warmth and security of a loving embrace.

“I had enormous respect and love for the women in my family and they really groomed me to be as I am. So it was a way of sort of remembering that,” she says.

“It’s an homage to my family, but it’s also striking a blow for women as artists and craft as art.”

A graduate of the Photography Studies College (PSC), Allison’s works were recently selected for exhibition at the MARS Gallery in Windsor, an exceptional honour for an amateur artist.

Allison was also awarded the Excellence in the Art Major Award at her PSC cohort’s graduation ceremony.

Although Allison has no plans to depart from her day-job just yet, she concedes that photography is a welcome escape from the stresses of her life as a radiologist.

It will be interesting to see how Allison channels this passion for photography as a meditative escape from her career moving forward.

You can see more of Allison’s collection at www.allisonkrosephotography.com/index/#/my-mothers-embrace/

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