My Account My Lightboxes Create Account Submissions Guidelines Help
Alison Norlen
updated: 12/18/2013
Artwork Title
Click thumbnails for full view:
glimmer installation
float installation view
Portfolio Keywords:  process, architecture, mapping, memory
glimmer installation by Alison Norlen
glimmer installation
chalk pastel on paper
Dimensions variable
Alahambra by Alison Norlen
0" x  0" 
float installation view by Alison Norlen
float installation view
charcoal on paper
0" x  0" 

Artist Statement

I have been conducting research and producing work based on a various forms of utopia, fantasy and cultural spectacle:, festivals, celebrations, idyllic environments which take place as both small humble merriments to fantastical international events. I have spent much time attending fairs, local trade shows, world fairgrounds to be both  participant and spectator, and have spent time researching places and events that are  abandoned, dilapidated, gone, forgotten, or have never existed or no longer exist, that are temporary, or have sadly, undergone tremendous mutation and transformation.


Whether hugely impressive and spectacular or mundane and private this subject area has inspired my work for years.  My interest in this area has lead to researching many thematic sites such as the Crystal Palace, and Luna Park, Disneyland, the Brighton piers, and Las Vegas to name a few.  I have have traveled to both Rio de Janeiro and Trinidad to experience both the annual Carnival and the culture of these exotic places and to a remote area of Mexico to participate and witness the all night candlelit vigil which celebrates Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), as well as to small town cultural events throughout the prairies. My research has culminated into the building of large scale drawings, small intricate wire “drawings”, and welded sculptures and installtions.

My work attempts to metaphorically represent utopia, fantasy, self-reflection, the disintegration of memory and experience, and the vaporous zone between present and future through sensory complexity and ephemera;  sight, sound, nausea, confusion, chaos), the sensation dizzying and unpredictable, a kind of “visual vertigo”. 

Artist Bio / CV

Alison Norlen grew up in Kenora, Ontario and moved to Winnipeg at seventeen and became a barber.  Gradually attending classes at  the University of Manitoba School she obtained a BFA Honors  and went on to complete an MFA from Yale University.  alison returned to Winnipeg and  taught at the University of Manitoba  for ten years before moving to Saskatoon, where she continues her artistic practise and teaches at the University of Saskatchewan.