Alison Hale grew up and still lives on the rugged west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. She has painted every facet of country life there and has won high acclaim for doing so. New Zealanders collect her work avidly seeking a glimpse of a bygone era.
Alison’s formative years were spent riding, rounding up, caring for and dreaming about working horses; no surprise then that horses feature prominently in her painting.
Her horses live. They are anatomically and ergonomically correct. Her oil is liberally thinned and in places runs down the canvas reminding the viewer of the never-ending west coast rain.
Alison is based in the unlikely mining town of Reefton. Since I met her there in 2006 working in her studio, her theme has moved steadily away from a wet and gritty country reality towards the equine dream-world of her younger days. Now, elegant fantasy horses in fantasy settings step forward onto her canvases. These are beautiful, technically accomplished and captivating paintings. They too will be eagerly collected by her compatriots.