Alison Lochhead



Alison Lochhead studied art and ceramics at Loughborough College of Art and Design and Wolverhampton Polytechnic from 1971 – 1975.  She studied tapestry weaving in Poland during 1975 – 1976. She has lived and worked in many countries, working with human rights and access to justice; especially for women. Her experiences are reflected in her art work.

She has exhibited widely from 1977 to the present day, with 20 one-person shows and over 70 group exhibitions. 

Alison is a member of Sculpture Cymru, 56 Group Wales, is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and Sculpture Network.

Alison has been involved in many projects and events, including running an artist led gallery; Gas Gallery; in Aberystwyth for 3 years and currently involved with a wide range of exhibitions and events with 9 other women sculptors working with iron; Iron Maidens 2 - Made in Wales, a group of artists looking at the state of the world ‘Vulgar Earth’ and with two other artists working with astronomers and reacting creatively to their research; ‘Creativity and Curiosity’.

Alison was selected to exhibit in the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018.

Previous events

Sculpture installation by Alison Lochhead

This exhibition explores the enormous courage that people have in fleeing their homelands in dire circumstances of war, conflicts and political oppressions. To leave everything that is dear to you and under-take a journey of unimaginable uncertainties and fear, risking yourself as well as your children’s lives; because you have no choice but to try for survival; is extraordinary.
The exhibition is made up of wall pieces as well as sculptures made from clay, slate, glass and iron.
Part of the exhibition also explores the destruction of identities and histories through bombing of libraries, but the words and histories cannot be destroyed. People are wonderfully strong and full of courage. Come and mark that in this exhibition.

When people get into the boats they have no idea what may happen or what their future may be. 
I put pieces in the kiln and have no idea what will emerge. 
I have no idea what it must be like getting into those boats.

Y Fath Ddewrder

Gosodiad o waith gan y cerflunydd Alison Lochhead yw’r arddangosfa yn Theatre Volcano ym mis Ionawr 2019. Mae’n ymwneud â’r dewrder anferthol sydd gan bobl sydd yn ffoi o’u mamwledydd yn sgil rhyfel, gwrthdaro a gorthrwm gwleidyddol, dan amgylchiadau arswydys. I adael popeth sydd yn annwyl i chi a chychwyn ar siwrnai sydd yn llawn ansicrwydd ac arswydion y tu hwnt i’r dychymyg, gan beryglu eich hun a bywydau eich plant hefyd; gan nad oes gennych ddewis heblaw mentro goroesi; mae’n eithriadol.
Mae’r arddangosfa yn cynnwys darnau ar y wal yn ogystal â cherfluniau a wneir o glai, llechi, gwydr a haearn.
Mae rhan o’r arddangosfa hefyd yn trafod dinistriaeth hunaniaethau a hanesion drwy fomio llyfrgelloedd, ond ni fedrir dinistrio geiriau a hanesion. Mae pobl yn rhyfeddol o gryf.
Dewch i ddathlu hynny yn yr arddangosfa hon.
Pan mae pobl yn byrddio’r cychod does ganddyn nhw ddim syniad beth allai ddigwydd na beth sydd o’u blaenau.
‘Dw i’n rhoi darnau yn yr odyn heb syniad o beth fydd yn ymddangos.
Does gen i ddim syniad sut deimlad yw byrddio’r cychod hynny.

Sculpture Installation by Alison Lochhead

26 January – 2 March 2019
Art Central Gallery, Town Hall, King Square
Barry, Vale of Glamorgan CF63 4RW
Monday – Friday 10 – 4.30 | Saturday 10 – 3.30

The work made by Alison Lochhead reflects upon the memory of actions and experiences of people over time. The earth retains the marks made by humans and the memory of their presence and the injustices inflicted. Each person’s memory and experience is different and only parts remain, there is no ‘wholeness’, only fragments, but when different memories are pieced together they make a collective reflection and memory. 

The work is a reflection on the repetition and memories of conflict and war.

The installation consists of cast iron shoes, burnt books and columns of rubble.  They tell a story of conflict and migration as well as the destruction of culture and histories. Each material holds a different representation of memory of strength, fragility, vulnerability, brittleness. There is ambiguity in the materials and assumptions cannot be made about what is strong and weak.  Iron can be a much weaker material than paper yet we think an iron backbone is strong and often associated with decisions about going to war and a paper spine is weak; cowardice; the opposite should be the case. ‘An iron backbone’ is really very brittle and unyielding, yet seen as very strong. ‘A paper spine’ is not weak but resilient, bendable and hard to destroy. The installation explores some of these ambiguities.

Why do we continue to think we can solve our differences through violence and conflict?

There are 65 million people fleeing from their homes worldwide as it is not safe enough to stay. What do you think when you come across an abandoned shoe?  Each shoe holds the story of the person who wore it. Conflicts force people to leave their homes and walk vast distances, enduring unimaginable hardships. People have been moving across our earth for forever; whether to find a kinder place to live, or because where they live is too unsafe because of conflict or because they are enslaved. This continues today. 


Selected One Woman Exhibitions:

  • 2018 ‘Layered Memories of Conflict’. Sculpture installation in Gloucester Cathedral. UK
  • 2018   ‘Conflict – Abandonment and Conflict’. Sculpture installation at Volcano Theatre, Swansea
  • 2017 Canwood Gallery and Sculpture Park. Near Hereford.
  • 2017 ‘Migration and Abandonment’. A sculpture installation. Llantarnam Grange. Cwmbran, Wales.
  • 2016 ‘Layered Memories of Conflict’. Sculpture installation. MoMA Machynlleth. Wales.
  • 2015 ‘Mine Memories’. Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum, Purbeck, Dorset.
  • 2013/14 ‘Mine Memories’ CARAD, Rhayader, Wales. This exhibition was of work based on the lead mines of the Cambrian Mountains, Wales, exploring the histories, stories and memories and physical realities about and around the mines. Working with the visual impact mines have on the landscape, the juxtaposition of raw material, construction, exploitation and change. The mines are a mix of construction and raw material and the work exploited this juxtaposition; linking the memories of the lives involved in the mines.
  • 2013 Oriel Q, Narberth, Wales
  • 2013 Strawbale Gallery, Lampeter, Wales
  • 2012 Pontardawe Arts Centre               
  • 2011 Briggait Gallery, Glasgow     
  • 2009 MOMA y Tabernacl, Machynlleth



  • Sculpture Cymru at The Old School House, Bleddfa Centre, Knighton. UK
  • 56 Group Wales. Oxmarket Gallery, Chichester.
  • Iron Maidens II at Scranton airport, USA, as part of the International Cast Iron Conference.
  • Canwood Gallery and Sculpture Park, Checkley, near
  • Hereford, UK
  • Mid Wales Arts, Caersws, Wales
  • Iron Maidens II – Theatre Clywd, Mold. Wales
  • ‘Rivers of Gold’ – Printmakers from Australia, New Zealand and Wales. Melbourne, Australia.


  • Blythe Gallery, Imperial College London. ‘Creativity and Curiosity’
  • Set House Gallery, Pembrokeshire. 56 Group Wales.
  • Iron Maidens II at Port Talbot. Exhibition around Port Talbot, Wales.
  • ‘Curious Travellers’. Creative responses to writings of C18th Thomas Pennant. Oriel Brondanw. North Wales.
  • ‘Thinking’- sculptural wall mounted boxes. Sculpture Cymru exhibition at Mid Wales Arts, Caersws.
  • ‘Creativity and Curiosity’, conversations between astronomers and artists. Cambridge Science Festival. Christ College and Institute of Astronomy.
  • Aberystwyth Printmakers exhibition. Mid Wales Arts, Caersws.
  • ‘Place’ Sculpture Cymru installations in the grounds of Dyffryn Gardens, Cardiff, Wales.
  • 56 Group Wales. Kings Street Gallery. Carmarthen.
  • Mid Wales Arts. Caersws. Wales


  • Attic Gallery, Swansea.
  • ‘Curious Travellers’. Creative responses to writings of C18th Thomas Pennant. Sycharth Gallery, Wrexham.
  • 56 Group Wales. Red House Gallery and Cyfartha Castle ,Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
  • Oriel Q, Narberth. 10 Years of Iron
  • Mid Wales Arts, Caersws, Wales. Sculpture Trail.


  • ‘Breaking Traditions’, Kidwelly Castle, Wales. Sculpture Cymru and Cadw.
  • Mid Wales Arts, Caersws, Wales. Sculpture Trail.

Publications include:

  • Interpreting Ceramics ‘The Fragmented Figure’ (paper given at conference.)
  • Planet Magazine. The Welsh Internationalist. 2009 and 2014.
  • ‘Revealment’ Book of poems by Dai Jenkins and Sculptures by Alison Lochhead.
  • Layered Memories of Conflict. 2016.

Alison has given numerous talks and workshops to a wide variety of audiences.


Alison Lochhead © 2017