Alison McCreesh

North Slave

Artist Story

The North is a great place to create art and supplies me with no end of inspiration. My surroundings, be it Yellowknife's Old Town or smaller communities throughout the Territory, make their way into a lot of my illustrations, comics and art pieces. I see a lot of humor in the small day-to-day details of life north of 60 and, focusing on these details, I like making work that is alive and relatable.

In 2009, after graduating from the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi with an Interdisciplinary Degree in Fine Arts, I came to Yellowknife for a summer. Now, over five years later, I'm glad I never left. Living in the North has offered me many opportunities, both on a personal and professional level. I have the great pleasure of working full-time as an artist and of seeing my work featured a variety of contexts and have also been fortunate to travel extensively throughout the Arctic.

A big part of my practice is fibre based. I work with wool and a variety of felting techniques to create hangings and installations. These pieces generally come together as exhibitions that reflect on contemporary life in the North. More specifically, my work takes an interest in how the traditional and the contemporary clash, mix and mesh to create striking –and often quirky- hybrids. I hope to continue to develop my work in this direction and to have more and more opportunities to exhibit nationally and internationally.

In 2014, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre featured a six-month long solo exhibit of my fibre based work title Muffled; Snapshots From the Arctic.  This followed in the tracks of solo exhibits of my work in Montreal (2013) as well as Whitehorse (2012).

Artist Bio: 

Alison McCreesh is a fibre artist, cartoonist and illustrator who lives in a cozy little shack in Yellowknife's Old Town. In 2009, After graduating from the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, Alison moved north to the NWT. Since then, making art along the way, Alison has traveled extensively throughout Northern Canada.

Spanning from boreal forest to tundra, from modern capital cities to isolated hamlets, from transient southern workers to deeply rooted aboriginal populations, the Canadian North is geographically and culturally vast, varied and extremely diverse. It is an isolated territory where the population has seen, willingly or otherwise, several enormous shifts in lifestyle over the past few generations. North of 60, identity shifts rapidly as tradition and modernity collide and coexist : Sometimes in confrontation with one another, sometimes evolving in parallel and sometimes mixing to create striking hybrids. These hybrids are greatly inspiring to me and appear frequently in my art work. In them, I find the quirks, absurdities and details that make the north real, alive and relatable. Be it through my comics and illustrations, as well as through my watercolour paintings and fibre work, I try to document our contemporary northern frontier.

Most recently, my fibre work has been show in solo exhibitions at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse (They Call Us Squatters – 2012), at the Espace BOHU in Montreal (Feutré; Clichés de deux Nords – 2013) and at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife (Muffled; Snapshots from the Arctic – 2014). My illustration work has been featured in several norther children's books, as well as in publications such as Up Here Magazine, Up Here Business Magazine and EDGE Magazine. Since 2010, I have been creating a line of Old Town themed gifts and art products titled Chilly Chicken Creations which are available year-round at Down to Earth Gallery.   

Last Updated: July 27, 2022

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