alison starr.INTERVIEW

I met Alison and her husband Jim back in 2006.  Both of them are wonderful artists who are constantly experimenting with new things.  At the time I didn't have any older artists in my life so it was refreshing to see what a career in art looks like long term. I've enjoyed watching and collecting Alison's art from ceramics to sewing instillations and paper, to more recently performance art. She is kind and compassionate and always has a listening ear and sound advice. 

None-repair | allayed performance 2012, by Courtney Brown and Alison Starr @ 500X (Dallas, TX)

None-repair | allayed performance 2012, by Courtney Brown and Alison Starr @ 500X (Dallas, TX)

foxLOR: Have you always known you were an artist and what obstacles did you overcome to move into that reality of yourself?

Alison Starr: No, I haven’t always known I was an artist. I knew that I liked to draw when I was young but once I began High School I was more interested in applying my creativity to something other than “art” as I thought. So I was in Acapella Choir and on the yearbook staff. It wasn’t until my 40’s that I realized that I just might be an artist, but it took others to help me embrace that.

foxLOR: What in your artistic process has surprised you in recent years?

AS: My technical abilities and gifts. It doesn’t take me much effort these days to learn various audio and video editing programs. I love making video art as well as sound. The other surprise is my love for writing for performance art and making my own performance art work.

Images of Indifferent,  February 2014, Courtney Brown and Alison Starr  Performance in the Houston International Performance Biennial

Images of Indifferent, February 2014, Courtney Brown and Alison Starr

Performance in the Houston International Performance Biennial

foxLOR: What does art look like in your every day life?

AS: I am constantly observing and seeing and inspired by things of everyday life and write performance scripts to be performed at some time later or to just be that script…that is art . I also record sounds as a sample for audio/sound work. Also I use my iPhone or whatever camera at hand to take video - typically mundane acts or just purely the actions of another. I make art constantly. I am art. My life is art.  :)

None-repair | allayed performance 2012, by Courtney Brown and Alison Starr @ 500X (Dallas, TX)

None-repair | allayed performance 2012, by Courtney Brown and Alison Starr @ 500X (Dallas, TX)

#bringbackOURGIRLS

I'm sure by now you have seen this hash tag on facebook or instagram. I first saw it this past week and so I researched what was happening. I went to bed that night with a heavy heart, trying to think of what my response should be as an artist to help raise awareness. 

Join Bring Back Our Girls on Facebook for up to the minute info on ways to get involved. 

You can write the President here.

You can sign a petition here.

I've been working on these little faces lately and when I woke up the next morning I got the idea to start painting over 300 little girl faces. It was an emotional day for me empathizing with these girls and their families by allowing myself to feel the terror, the sorrow and the great brokenness through each face I sketched out. Each one representing a life and a future. 

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I know horrific things happen in many places around the world, and we can only do so much as individuals to raise awareness, get involved politically, contribute financially, etc. I hope when people see this installation that they are able to stop and consider ways that we all contribute to the brokenness and the solution. We all can make a difference in our world. 

This project surprised me. I've never made an instillation before. There has been 20 hours that have gone into this so far and a couple of friends helped me tie all the strings on. I still want to sew some delicate blue string tears to the faces and put a cascading mass of blue thread in the center ring that puddles on the floor. I think 10 more hours and it should be complete. 

Watercolor, yarn, plastic pig, paper coin rolls.

Watercolor, yarn, plastic pig, paper coin rolls.

piggybank