Alison Neighbour is a new tutor to CSM Short Courses, who’s Introduction to Scenography Short Course starts this Summer School. In today’s Meet our Tutor series we discover more about Alison, who trained as a theatre designer at RADA and designs for traditional theatre spaces as well as outdoor, and environment-based work.
How did you come to work in your field?
I started out designing at university whilst studying for an English degree. I then decided to train as a theatre designer at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and after that I started my own company. I've always been interested in transforming public spaces and moving away from traditional models of theatre and of art consumption, and in offering audiences and visitors a chance to engage.
Could you tell us a little bit about something you've been working on recently as well as your wider practice?
I recently became a resident at Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, which is a really exciting place where lots of interesting people are developing ideas around using creative technology. This is part of my research into Participatory Scenography, where I am investigating how we can offer audiences agency in the work, and how scenography can be a starting point for participatory practices.
Tell us about one piece of creative work by another artist that has been on your mind lately
I saw the Katie Paterson exhibition in Margate and found it really powerful - she is incredibly talented and really thinks through how materials will tell the story. Her Future Library project is one of the most exciting and selfless pieces of art I've ever come across.
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
Persevere! It can be really hard but you have to keep making and seeking inspiration. Wonder can be found in the most mundane of places if you look hard enough.
How has teaching informed your approach to art?
It's always interesting to engage with new people and see how they respond to stimulus, and what they bring with them. CSM is a really buzzy place to be, there's lots going on and you see something different every day.
What is the most important thing that students take away from your course?
New ways of seeing spaces and understanding how we move through space and can alter it.