The Great Creators
Enhancing Our Community’s Cultural Landscape One Creative Project at a Time
(page 4 of 8)
Alison Bessesdotter of Allentown lives to create. For her, immersion in the act of creation should animate as many moments of life as possible. She poetically states, “I see my art like scattered seed. Who knows where it will bloom and flower next season and the season after?” Given the compelling diversity of the art seeds she sows, the public is in for a kaleidoscopic harvest of aesthetic treats.
Her work packs a punch across a wide spectrum of mediums, replete with visual and emotional power. Her formidable skills as a painter, printmaker, designer and quilter are roundly displayed in her inviting studio: the Bessesdotter Verksted. During a recent visit on a dank, cloudy day, the sunshine radiated from her work, warming the heart and delighting the eyes.
From the age of four, Bessesdotter drew compulsively. When her mother told her not to draw on the front of the doors in the house, she began expressing herself on the backs of the doors. She also embellished the pages of the family’s books with borders and abstract designs.
She fondly recalls spending many cherished childhood hours walking in the woods and fields of Bucks County with her grandfather. She reflects, “I saw all these amazing things—lush green grasses, creek beds and then a bright orange spotted salamander—big contrasts of color and detail.” She also had a beloved horse that facilitated her extensive exploration of the water, land and creatures in and along the banks of the Delaware River.
Her marvelous watercolors are a joyous expression of the indelible mark nature continues to forge on her soul. The alert colors and intricate flowing lines generate a complexity that never dissolves under the weight of intertwining and multiplying designs. There is an undisturbed enchantment within that beckons the viewer to linger and dream. You could be gazing into a magical stream or a euphoric sky. Turn the paintings in any direction and they continue to speak.
Her creative process is analogous to jazz improvisers who bravely jump into the unknown without maps or guiding coordinates. Bessesdotter’s bottomless talent and refined instinct navigate as she develops these very organic creations. Deep concentration opens into timelessness while she transforms diverse materials into resplendent artifacts.
Currently she is devoting much of her creative energy to creating amazing art quilts. Her skill and passion for working with fabric is abundantly clear as you make contact with these beautiful improbable quilts. (Bessesdotter is the Pennsylvania State Representative for Studio Art Quilt Associates) She encourages visitors to form a tactile relationship with this art—a welcomed facet of interaction that is usually verboten when dealing with paintings and other precious creations. Calling from among these treasures with a gentle surrealism are her funky FrankenQuilts. These are formed from commercial fabrics and found objects. The characters and shapes populating each piece suggest unusual narratives that nudge at the mind like an intriguing visual puzzle.
She also combines vintage kimono fabrics and Swarovski crystals to create wearable art quilts, jackets, jewelry and handbags. These creations are scheduled to be shown in Tokyo and Florida.
Bessesdotter’s studio is filled with a wide range of dynamic paintings, quilts, wearable art and clever curios. This remarkable woman possesses hidden depth that appears to surface organically when she interacts with her creations.