Alison Friday

February 2011

Alison Friday took over the Library with her multi-media exhibition ‘knitting for art’, which featured outfits knitted from VCR tape, bold canvases and a yarn-bombed garden.

alison friday garden

Alison is a Fibre artist that uses free-form crochet and knit to express herself, she describes the needles and hooks as her paint brushes.

Her work ranges from knitted graffiti banners , plastic ducks to layered canvas surfaces created using a combination of stitch layers and spray paint. The use of some sort of yarn is the only motif that appears across her work. The work is bold, bright and fun, with her main aim to draw attention.

You can see Alison’s blog about the exhibition here


Este MacLeod: The Big Red Nose Day Interactive Art Project

Microsoft Word - Saturday Sessions-1

The launch of the libraries new programme of events ‘Saturday sessions’ in which the Library will host a cultural event one Saturday every month. The programme will be varied from local choirs, to artist demonstrations. We were excited to launch the events with a bang by hosting Este Macleod’s interactive community art project ‘The Big Red Nose Day Interactive Art Project’.

Este Macleod is a painter and applied artist, who distorts and simplifies recognisable everyday objects by including methods such as the layering of paint and a variety of scraping techniques. Este exhibits in the UK and abroad on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Her paintings and sculptures are in public and private collections around the world. (

Este’s project will happen between 1 and 15 March 2013 at various local locations. Participants are invited to make a painterly mark on two large square canvasses one canvas is for marks and doodles using paintbrushes, and the other one, in keeping with Comic relief’s spirit of silliness, is to be painted by the use of one’s nose! YES a blob of paint on the tip of the nose is to be applied to the canvas. (Wet wipes are available to aid with the clean up afterwards)

After the gathering of participants’ marks and doodles Este will complete the paintings by creating cohesion between marks, and finishing it to a professional stage. The paintings are to be revealed during the Reading Contemporary Art fair on 26 April. They will then go on a 6 month loan to the Circle hospital in Reading. If sold, a percentage of the sale will go to Comic relief.

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Sonia Olaniyan

February 2011


Sonia Olaniyan displayed a mixture of her delicate paper sculptures and mixed media paintings.

Throughout her work the influence of her previous career as an antiques dealer is apparent, whether in the aging magazines used as backgrounds, the tiny lace details, or the feelings of nostalgia that are evoked in the viewer.

Sonia says of her work;

‘Over many years of gaining practice and experience I have developed a style of painting that is rapid and fluid, I quite often find myself working the canvas with a loaded brush in both hands; it would seem that this ambidextrous painting technique does not manifest itself at will, rather, it is a unintentional quality which emerges when I am utterly absorbed in my work. The result of using both hands to paint is visible within my painting and so there is often a contrast of controlled and frenzied brush work.

My most recent works have been produced with an honest and mature method of painting which relies on suggestion, tone and application. The subject matter of my paintings is generally without narrative, they are simple and uncomplicated snippets of everyday life. My work is a study of gesture and posture, and whilst there is an avoidance of photographic-like precision, the finished works are always a recognizable representation of the subject. Any aesthetic value is a focused choice but more often than not it is secondary to the finality of the work. As with most artists, my practice is an ever- evolving path of development and experiment; these factors of process are inadvertently recorded visually within my work.’

See more of Sonia’s work at