Botanical Theatre ... where magic happens!
About the Artist
"An authentic human being has the ability to make a profound impact on the imagination and wellbeing of others. Use your gifts wisely." Ali ©1999.
Australian artist, Alison Jane Rice, was born in Sydney with Balmoral as her early childhood playground. An unbridled sense of play planted the fertile seeds for an independent aesthetic, evident in her collectible picture books and exhibition work. At 19 years of age, she founded Auro-Ali Imports which included a non profit component to assist in village education and the building of a village well near Pondicherry, India. The business sold in 1983.
In 1989, her nine year non profit EARTHBOOK Project began. It contained Earthlore: a national poetry competition urging youth to write about solutions for world peace. In 1994, Alison was awarded a World Health Organization Healthy Cities Award for contributions to Youth, Arts & Environment. During & beyond this time, the artist gained her Bachelor and Masters degrees in Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong (1995) and created The ALIGHT program. A year later, her art performance, celebrating indigenous culture, was enacted in Yiribana in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
In 1999, The ALIGHT Journal was published by Alison and launched at the New Children's Hospital Westmead; proceeds benefiting its Adolescent Medicine Unit. The artist received uplifting letters and contributions for the Journal from inspiring individuals around the globe. Including Edmund Capon, Peter Gabriel, Diana Princess of Wales, Giorgio Armani, Robin Williams, Mandawuy Yunupingu, Desmond Tutu, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Sir David Attenborough. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama personally contributed his Message for Peace to Alison's international edition of the journal. It precedes an inspiring Foreword written by Midnight Oil frontman and conservationist, Peter Garrett AM.
Between 1990 and 2006, Alison freelanced as a journalist, ran her ALIGHT (Arts Learning Inspiring Growth Healing & Tolerance) program and was contracted by the Government's Landcare & Environment Action program as a Communications Trainer responsible for literacy & arts development for challenged youth.
In 2008, after committing to a gruelling schedule developing her own visual arts practice, Alison began exhibiting her artwork in galleries around Australia. Award nominations followed with the artist gaining international recognition and overseas representation in New York. Alison's exisiting body of work is the result of her experiences in the US, Europe, Asia and the wilderness regions of Australia. Inspired by natural beauty and ancient cultures, her intuitive approach to life illuminates the path she follows: "Drawing, Painting and Writing assist me in my exploration of Who I Am and Who I Am Becoming."
In 2011, Alison received recognition in the BUSINESS for PEACE Award. This global award, founded by the Business for Peace Foundation, Oslo Norway, recognises individuals who achieve success whilst acting in an ethically responsible way. Also, she launched her first Artist Edition picture book, The Legend of Prince Farty Barty & His Sacred Bum Bum Tree and won the 2011/2012 Blue Mountains Business Award for Excellence in the Arts. Committed to an optimistic vision of “peace in our lifetime”, Alison continued to support authentic art and conservation initiatives worldwide.
During the artist's successful 2014 National Trust exhibition featuring the launch of her second picture book, Arty Barty's Magic Paintbrush, Alison received a wonderful letter from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thanking her for the watercolour of Prince George with Bilby & Artist Edition of The Legend of Prince Farty Barty, gifted to them during their Australian visit. Since October 2014 the Sir Stamford Circular Quay has promoted Alison as their artist-in-residence, showcasing her picture books in a permanent display in their foyer.
In 2015, Alison represented New South Wales at the inaugural Melbourne Art Book Fair. Held in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria, her picture books were showcased in the City of Literature small press stand.
Alison opened her studio gallery to the public in 2017 as part of the National Trust's Australian Heritage Festival. Many of Alison's original book illustrations and artworks are now on permanent display, with her picture books, cards, prints & gifts available for purchase in the Gallery's unique emporium. Private consultations and a range of workshops commenced in June.