Botanical Theatre ... where magic happens!
Botanical Theatre Gallery launched 2017
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 original illustrations, limited edition prints & the launch of her second picture book, Arty Barty's Magic Paintbrush, Alison received a letter from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for her 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 sold and showcased Alison's collectible picture books and prints 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.
After nine years creating her magical artist's garden in the upper Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Alison's Botanical Theatre Studio Gallery & Garden launched in the Autumn of 2017 as part of the National Trust's Australian Heritage Festival. Many of the artist's original book illustrations and artworks are now on permanent display, with her collectible picture books, cards, edition prints & gifts available for purchase in the Gallery's unique emporium.
Approved Professional Membership and Industry Representation: - NAVA National Association of the Visual Arts Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators International (SCWBI) Australian Society of Authors ASA/The Style File Childrens Book Council of Australia Copyright Agency Limited Australian Business Arts Foundation Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Botanical Art Society of Australia Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Unite for Wildlife Zoo Friend TARONGA Conservation Society Australia
Arnhem Flower. Courtesy of the artist