Local Artist Series // Alison Mooney
Who are you and what do you create?
My name is Alison, and I’m a visual artist, among a couple of other things.
What materials and techniques do you use?
I’ve been going through a pretty steady phase of painting what I call translucent rainbow tubes these past few years – with the occassional dabble in sculpture and placemaking during my Toowoomba years. These days I paint mostly canvases and murals. I’ve also painted (living) bodies and cars, a scooter, an abandoned house (with permission, mind – that’s a good story for another time).
What kind of inspirations go into your work?
My work is inspired by action and energy. I paint to influence firstly, my own energy, and secondly, I’ve noticed how paintings also influence the energy and action of the space they’re in. I love experimenting with and exploring this – particularly with large scale paintings and murals. Scale can really influence the experience of being in a space, and I find when you add the suggestion of movement, it can shift a work from being a 2D layer of paint into a perceived object that really encourages a fresh experience of the space.
In what space do you like to create most?
Outdoors! There is nothing like painting a mural outside on a gorgeous day, knowing you’ve got a few days to take your time with a piece and make it all you can. I also love painting publicly – the conversations that crop up are always enlightening or on a smaller scale, humbling! The very first mural I did was a collaborative wall of about 10 metres x 5 metres with contemporary dancer, Kirsty Lee. Super experimental – neither of us had done anything like that before and feedback from passers by included ‘oh! So anyone can have a go on this one?’ It balanced out though in the end, getting featured in a fantastic book documenting Street Art in Australia though so we were pretty chuffed.
What has been your favourite or most important work to date?
Ah, so many ways to answer this. I’ve enjoyed 10 years of public art making and am lucky to have had some amazing experiences. Live art, with no plan and three other artists sharing the canvas to an audience of 500 people was a learning curve. But more recently, a private commission for a pool wall in Northern NSW is a definite highlight. It was the first mural where I recreated the works to the same level of detail and resolution that I aim for in the studio. A super challenging three days and 100% enjoyable. At one point I swam to my trestle with a 4L bucket of paint – first and last time for that manoeuvre – nothing spilt though and my beautiful client was really happy with his wall. A win-win.