Alison Syer


My approach combines curiosity and a love of colour and texture, with concern for environmental issues. I am inspired by natural imagery, such as trees, flora, and most notably butterflies, as well as by my personal experiences and emotions.  The positive and negative sides of human emotion interest me, and I aim to express these themes in my work through my choices of subject, colours, and combinations of heavy and delicate fabrics.  I enjoy the tactile experiences associated with the media, size, shape or weight of the piece.  My work is also a way to connect with other people, to express what I am feeling at the time, and also allow the viewer to find their own meanings in the work.

I love to explore using media that are new to me, and incorporate them into favourites, for example textile techniques like hand and machine embroidery, or applique, and regular use of natural fibres such as silk, cotton, wool felt, or linen.

I am working on a series of acrylic paintings which are each based on the markings of a type of butterfly, taking the true to life colours, and altering the marks and patterns to compose the piece.  My current textile art is also butterfly inspired – a series of machine embroidery pieces, each a different butterfly, to be pinned and framed in specimen boxes much like real insect specimens are in natural history collections.  This work expands on the themes of natural imagery, and of personal sadness, loss, and hope. Combined, these collections contrast two ways of looking at their subjects – a representational, natural history inspired look at these insects, and an abstracted study of their patterning and colours.

My fashion accessory items, such as the silk clutches and cotton scarves I am producing currently, incorporate my own surface embellishments and print designs, creating beautiful and functional pieces.

You can find more information about Alison Syer and her work at