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Alison Davis

Exhibition: Pattern Making, Pattern Mending

January – June 2023

Knot by Knot #6 detail, Ink on paper

Nets are patterns that catch and hold. The patterns of our lives also ensnare us. Often, those patterns are beneficial routines, but there are many patterns that hold us back. This series of work is a consideration of patterns generally as well as the work it takes to construct and deconstruct those patterns.

The net drawings are laid out in even grids. Periodically the ordered repetition of the grid is disrupted by extra pieces of string, holes that have been irregularly patched, and places where the nets lose their pattern. There is a tension between the orderliness of the grid pattern and the slight variations that encourage the viewer to come in close to examine each knot and to seek out new patterns in the areas where the regular grid is broken.

The animations and drawings of the hands reference the mundane, day-to-day work that goes into mending and maintaining a routine. Work that is overlooked yet constant and unceasing. Without this vigilance, there are so many ways in which the ordered world can become disordered.

In conflict with this, is the acknowledgment that systems and patterns can also be harmful and require reordering. Sometimes the disruption of a pattern is necessary. And so, while some of the drawn and animated hands work to build and maintain the grid pattern of the nets the other hands take that pattern apart to create spaces that resist the dominant pattern to allow for variation and change. This project was created with support from the Manitoba Arts Council.

2021, 11″ x 14″, ink on paper


Tying Together, Ink on Paper

Net Studies

Knot by Knot, 38″ x 50″, ink on paper

About the Artist

Alison Davis is an artist and animator based in Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg. She has created a number of short films with a focus on traditional animation that has screened at festivals and venues around the world. Her drawing practice explores the subtlety of fine lines and delicate interactions. Davis holds a BFA in Film Animation from Concordia University in Montreal and has been the recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Winnipeg Arts Council.


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