Local artist Ali Haigh’s observation of the patterns in the natural world and her love of fabric and design have led to her exhibition, Pattern to Print. Currently on display at the Manning regional Art Gallery, Ali’s work is creative, individual, and beautiful …
Hi Ali. The first thing I need to ask is, “Who is Ali Haigh?” Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in the local area …
Growing up in the local area has given me great freedom to explore my creative passions. I have a loving and supportive family, who understand my need to cocoon myself in the studio in the lead up to an exhibition amidst the chaos of the ever-growing house chores that I choose to ignore.
I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many inspiring people and places through teaching and travel to share my love of printmaking.
When/how did you work out that art was something you needed in your life?
Art from an early age has always been my way of telling stories and making sense of the world. I have come to understand that it is essential to my ability to create balance and wellbeing in my life, helping me to imagine the unimaginable.
Art connects me to the present moment, broadening my experience and understanding, and yet simultaneously challenges my every assumption.
Your exhibition at the Manning Regional Gallery, Pattern to Print … Tell us about it! How did the concept evolve?
Pattern to Print evolved from my observations of patterns in the natural world and my love of fabric and design.
In September 2015, I began a project I called Collaborate365, where I created an ephemeral artwork in collaboration with the natural world around me, every day for one year. This project was inspired by the practice of contemporary Australian sculptor Shona Wilson.
This project helped me create a disciplined art practice and taught me to hold things lightly, letting my creations go each day as the artworks washed or blew away with the elements.
When I posted my daily collaborate pieces on my blog and Facebook, people commented how the artworks looked like fabric designs.
This feedback founded the idea that led to the exhibition. The patterns I saw in nature re-ignited my love of textiles, taking me back to the roots of my learning. In many ways it was a natural progression, as the repetitive patterns I created daily found their way into print and on textiles, mediums I am familiar with.
What are some of the more unusual/standout mediums/objects you used to create the exhibition?
For me, this exhibition is about getting back to basics. I have used simple hand print methods to create repeat prints on beautiful fabrics. Mosiac-like patterns have been made from discarded art catalogues, and an installation of timber banksia leaves cascade from one room to another. Rocks repeat on bespoke wallpapers and old linoleum tiles, and X-ray film find a new purpose as plates.
Where can we see other samples of your work, or find out more about you?
My exhibition at the Manning Regional Art Gallery runs from the 19th October until the 26th November 2017.
If you are interested in knowing more about my process and any upcoming workshops I’m holding, follow my blog at collaborate365.wordpress.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org