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The Cave


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Alison Berrett ‘The Cave’

After intuitively painting this piece, I noticed the dark blue shape in the centre of the painting reminded me of a cave. At the time, I was reading a book by my friend, the poet and writer Ian Adams called ‘Cave, Refectory, Road’. The book describes a monastic process of retreat, community and mission. It helped to clarify for me, the importance of making time and space for each of these elements in our lives. We need time to retreat to our cave for solitude and time with our known and supportive communities to be energised and encouraged for the third stage – our missional work in the wider world. This is not a religious painting. Using landscape as a metaphor, it is an acknowledgement of our need for these three elements in varying ratios in order to live a balanced and meaningful life.

Acrylic on Canvas
This work is sold unframed
30cm x 80cm

Size: H:30 cm x W:80 cm

Discover original abstract works by Alison Berrett online with Wychwood Art and in their Oxfordshire Art Gallery. Alison Berrett says: "I love the freedom of being an artist. Primarily I paint, draw, collage and photograph. I work with oil or acrylic paint on board or canvas, and occasionally, household objects. I also like to mix media, using wax crayons and oil pastels to create a resist with watercolour paints; or collage, charcoal and acrylic paint to explore textures. My inspiration is the result of a passion for the beauty of the natural world we live in. I take photographs of anything that catches my attention whilst out in the landscape as a reference point for my ideas and thoughts. It is also a way of visually recording and collecting images for a time when I can paint. I do not paint directly from the photographs but use them as starting points. Drawings, paintings and written notes are sometimes produced on site outdoors. I am often struck by dramatic lighting, the simultaneous contrast of colours or extreme weather conditions. Sensing the soul of the earth, I try to convey something of this inexplicable phenomenon in whatever I create. Sometimes I draw whilst carefully studying my subject without looking at the page. I am very interested in the quality of lines and marks this technique creates. I have also been investigating the use of drawing like this as a meditative process. Drawing and mark making has been a continuous area of interest since I first felt the urge as a child. I became liberated in my ability to express myself when in 1989 I attempted to draw and paint the sea during ferocious storms. I had to respond in an urgent, intuitive and spontaneous way, capturing the movement of the waves and wind and recording my own gestures and emotional response. This led me to create abstract works combining these gestures and emotions with a sense of movement and a fascination for colour and the application of paint. I find the transformational qualities of paint extremely satisfying. The paintings themselves are full of emotional expression and spontaneity; questions and observations about life often appear in my work as it progresses. Visual metaphors become apparent as I carefully work out the balance of composition, colour and mark. I rarely start a painting knowing what the end result will be but I have a very clear sense of my starting point. Then begins the organic process of bringing the work to life. I greatly value my role as a workshop leader (often as an artist in residence) and educator, encouraging other people to be creative. My experience in these areas is very broad and I am delighted that this continues to expand. I have created, and delivered dynamic educational programmes and workshops as well as pursuing and developing my own professional practice as a freelance artist. I have been involved in some extremely interesting, diverse and incredibly valuable projects and worked with some wonderful, creative, people. It is a privilege to be a part of the rich and energising world of Art." To discuss any artworks by Alison Berrett, please contact or call 07799 535 765 / 01869 338 155.

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