The 19th Century print was found in an antique shop. The Western empire referred to is, of course, the Roman empire with the Middle East at its centre - and America nowhere to be seen. However, the map provokes thoughts about the volatile geo-politics of our own changing world.
Using its irregular grid-lines and the colours of its land masses Turnbull has fused a drawing with the antiquarian map – the two snap together to create a new, contemporary image.
Alison Turnbull studied in Madrid at Academia Arjona (1975–1977); in Surrey at West Surrey College of Art and Design (1977–1978) and in Corsham at Bath Academy of Art (1978–1981). Since the 1980’s she has lived and worked in London.
Turnbull has had solo exhibitions at Art Seen, Nicosia (2016); Shandy Hall, North Yorkshire (2014); De La Warr Pavilion, East Sussex (2013); Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2012); and Matt's Gallery, London (2010). She recently had an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to accompany the publication of her book Another Green World: Linn Botanic Gardens, Encounters with a Scottish Arcadia, Art/Books (2015).
Recent group exhibitions include Seeing Round Corners: the Art of the Circle Turner Contemporary, Margate (2016); Blackrock Lydney Park Estate, Gloucestershire (2016); Compression Ormston HouseGallery, Limerick (2015); Multiplicities, Art Seen, Nicosia (2015); Colour on Paper, Galeria Leme, São Paolo (2014); Summer Exhibition Royal Academy of Art, London (2014); Universal Fragments: Conversations with Trevor Shearer, Large Glass, London (2013); Galápagos Centro de Arte Moderna (CAM), Lisbon (2013); The Bluecoat, Liverpool and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2012); The Russian Club Gallery, London (2011); On the Edge of the World, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, a British Council touring exhibition (2010) and Parallel Remix, Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York (2010).
She has held residencies at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden (2005); the Department of Entomology, Natural History Museum, London (2009); Cove Park in western Scotland (2011) and most recently in Chocó, Colombia with Más Arte Más Acción.
She has also undertaken architectural commissions and is currently working on a project for Peterhouse Technology Park in Cambridge, to be completed in 2017.
Her work is in major collections including Arts Council England; The British Council; Clifford Chance, London; Deutsche Bank AG, London; Government Art Collection, London; Imperial War Museum, London; Imperial College Health Care Trust, London and Southampton City Art Gallery.
Alison Turnbull is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.