For many years I have built sculptures in steel. I have found steel an interesting material because of its association with industry, masculinity, and permanence. Recently, my work has evolved from the creation of discrete objects into large installations. During this evolution I have explored steel’s metaphorical potential by using it in a variety of transformations—stock sheets, steel wool, and rust. Wallpaper is often thought to be a decorative element that is intended to beautify not occupy the active areas of a space. The works pictured on this site explore themes of nature, culture, gender, decoration, time, decay, and memory. For example, in THE GARDEN OF PLEASURE, I have created steel images based on stylized plant forms and preposterous images of femininity found in eighteenth century painting and textile design. I appropriate these rococo motifs to question the relegation of femininity to the decorative. The most recent work pictured, TEMPS PERDU, was made with rust collected from my decaying sculptures then made into dye. With the rust dye I transcribed A LA RECHERCHE DU TEMPS PERDU by Marcel Proust onto 200 yards of muslin and covered the interior of the Penland School Dye Shed, an 1850s structure.
Alison Collins, Studio 525, YOHO Studios, 540 Nepperhan Avenue, Yonkers, 10701