Alison Carthy – Walking Weaver

Alison Carthy grew up in West Craven and for the past 30 years has lived in Holmfirth in the South Pennines.  She is grounded in the landscape of the Pennine Watershed; this landscape is undoubtedly an important influence on her work.

Her work is concerned with the way human beings relate to the natural world.  Spending time in the outdoors is an important part of the practice; a time to reflect to listen to feel to taste the countryside.  It is about slowing down and making a connection with natural cycles of the planet which she feels has been lost in the modern word

Alison’s inspiration comes from the natural world.  Walking through the landscape, feeling the wind, sun, rain, snow, observing the seasons, learning the names and habits of wildlife.  Walking, like weaving is a meditation, a way of seeing things in detail and slowing the pace of life.  A way of exploring the relationship we have with the natural world, and investigating ways of nurturing that connection, a search for a healing process through keeping in touch with the green.

The work exhibited at Featured @ Fair Trader is part of a series, ‘Revisiting the Familiar’.  It records places close to Holmfirth where Alison lives and where she has habitually walked for many years.  Visiting old friends, observing how they change with the seasons and years.

Alison works with craft skills passed through generations. These processes were once essential for making and mending things; the things needed for everyday life.  Sometimes she works outdoors sometimes with found materials.  The making is a way of thinking, investigating the possibilities and limitations of the materials a challenge to innovate.  It’s a ‘slow’ process, and Alison often considers that the making may be more important than the finished piece.