Allison Cooke Brown’s work ranges from small hand-held book structures to larger scale sculpture. She uses old linens and women’s clothing as a materials source, with domesticity/female issues as subject matter. She wrestles with what she feels society has proscribed as the ideal feminine behavior of being a compliant “good girl,” versus her own need to “act out,” to become her own person.
Sewing and knitting, commonly associated with women’s work, have not for the most part been historically considered art. In her case, she intentionally uses these activities as a personal language to describe her particular point of view of being female.
Allison has shown widely, including at CMCA, the Currier Museum of Art, the Farnsworth, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and University of New England, as well as two Portland Museum of Art Biennials. She has appeared in such publications as Lark Book’s 500 Handmade Books series, and Fiberarts, American Craft, and Surface Design magazines. Her work is held in many private and public collections, including Yale University; Parson’s School of Design; Smith, Bowdoin, and Wellesley colleges; University of New England; and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.