Alison Norlen ‘ala’

Date(s): Feb 21 to Mar 20 2004


© A. Norlen, 2003

Vernissage on Saturday, February 21, at 5 pm

My work of the past few years has consisted of small wire sculptures and a series of large drawings surrounding the theme of agricultural fairs, local fanfare, provincial roadside attractions and tourist events, and the carnival in Rio and Trinidad. A few years ago I was invited to Rio to assist in the final preparations for the carnival and was allowed access to the private warehouse where Imperatriz Samba School’s floats and costumes were in progress. This extraordinary experience has consequentially influenced and inspired my work, and has spurred ideas for future work. I have also spent time travelling to various festivities and cultural events throughout Saskatchewan such as heritage celebrations, Wild West days, rodeos, soap box/dragon boat races, fishing derbies, home/farm/leisure shows, logging and horticulture contests, and livestock auctions for the purpose of documenting these activities and collecting images. In the spring I travelled to Trinidad to witness and participate in the Caribbean carnival, and then returned to Trinidad for a two-month residency this past summer.

© A. Norlen, 2003

Alison Norlen grew up in Kenora, Ontario. She moved to Winnipeg at 17 and became a barber. She obtained a BFA Honours degree from the University of Manitoba, and an MFA from Yale University. She taught at the University of Manitoba for ten years before moving to Saskatoon, where she has been teaching painting and drawing at the University of Saskatchewan for the past five years.