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Alison Shanks

Bath Spa University (-MA Ceramics / 2013)


What is your favourite film of all time?

What music are you currently listening to and why?

Which living artists do you most admire and why?

Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?

Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?

What / who inspired you to be an artist?

Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any the significance of this location is?

What do you like most about being an artist?

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

What are your plans for the coming year?

Latest artwork - View all by this artist

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Artist's statement


I want to question how we relate to (feel in) our world. It is rapidly changing. We are controlled, watched, and manipulated through mass media to conform. We are depersonalised and some would say made inhuman through a constant bombardment of images: of particular interest to me is its use for the consumerism of beauty and celebrity.

I predominately use Porcelain because of its associations of preciousness, beauty, translucency, illusion of fragility and its whiteness.  I silk-screen print photographic images taken from popular culture onto the Porcelain.


The use of the “grotesque” produces a kind of ”soul dizziness” as you do not know whether to laugh or cry.

Charles Baudelaire said that the essence of laughter in the grotesque hinges on four interrelated pairings, “humour and terror, innocence and corruption, wholeness and fragmentation, the natural and unnatural.”

Sigmund Freud used the word ‘Unheimlich’ in his attempt to explain the “uncanny” . He said that the uncanny is invoked in our perception when for instance something that was familiar becomes unfamiliar following the slightest change. Our own world is becoming increasingly fragmented and unfamiliar and therefore becoming ‘unheimlich’ or, as the word translates, ‘unhomely’.


Alison studied at Hornsey College of Art ,London. BA Hons Fine Art and then just recently at Bath Spa University BA Hons Ceramics. She is currently doing an MA Ceramics at Bath Spa University.


 She has won several awards and has had work published in Ceramic Review Magazine.


Alison has worked mainly to commissions but has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Bath, London, Sherborne, Spain and the USA.



  • “"Pick of the New Graduates", The Royal Academy  of Art, London 1984. Group
  • Holt Gallery, Sherborne, 2004. Solo
  • Sumidos Gallery, Sitges, Spain, 2006. Solo
  • BathSpa University Degree Show, 2011. Group
  • "New Designers", London, 2011. Group
  • "The 303 Show", Sculpture Award Finalist,  Bath and West Show ground, 2011. Group
  • "The Gallery", Honiton, 2011. Group 
  • "Ceramics Review Magazine", October 2011. Published work
  • “Firing Up” Crafts Council, Corsham  Jan 2012, group
  • ​Black Swan Arts, Frome, Somerset  Feb 2012, group
  • The Holburne Museum, Bath, Oct 2012. A museum intervention installation
  • “Small”  Black Swan Arts, Frome. Dec 2012
  • “500 Prints On Clay” book , Lark Publishers, New York. Edited by Paul Wandless
  • MA Show, Bath Spa University  Sept 2013

Achievements & Awards

The Gane Trust Award and Bath and South-West 303 Sculpture Award

Recently sold artwork

  • Shark
  • Cityheadscape
  • "Black and Blue"
  • "She Just Popped Out"