In utmost sadness, we have to tell of Alison’s death from cancer on 26 January. Although her illness was serious, her many friends in Nottingham who loved her were set to support her recovery. But it was not to be.
Having grown up in Yorkshire and studied in Cardiff, Alison first joined the SWP in London in 1984 and used her extraordinary creative abilities to build politically. Her iconic self-portrait as a Christmas angel, holding a Socialist Worker “Victory to the miners” poster symbolises what defined Alison. It showed her inventive art, revolutionary politics, humour, generosity, vulnerability and defiance.
Alison’s work (including that image) is in Women in Revolt! Art and activism 1970–1990 at Tate Britain until 7 April. An interview with Alison about the show in Socialist Worker last November, is full of her illuminating insights, expressed with characteristic modesty.
Alison pursued a distinguished career in commissioning and curating—working with artists such as Marina Abramović and Jeremy Deller. She became the East Midlands officer for the arts council. Her own photography and film bring her politics on women’s oppression into the frame of daily life.
A central figure in Nottingham’s artistic community, she was until her death a trustee at Nottingham Primary—who “present art exploring ideas that affect societal change”. Lately it has hosted events involving asylum seekers and refugees. Four years ago, she gained a PhD exploring hill walking as a form of sculpture.
Alison rejoined the SWP in 2020 during the Covid pandemic. She soon took over arranging Zoom meetings and making insightful contributions. She would bring friends along and involve them in Black Lives Matter and other actions.
When more in-person activities started up she was excellent at connecting with people on stalls—recently over Trans+ Pride and Palestine. She attended Palestine demos and maintained vibrant conversations with friends and comrades, developing relationships and ideas until her last days. We are so proud of our wonderful comrade.
Our deepest condolences go to her sister Hilary, mum Val, daughter Colette and son Magnus, grandson Loic and his mum, Christine. Colette says, “The SWP was so important to her! Thank you x”Original post