Born in Dumfries, Scotland, Alison studied at Edinburgh College of Art under Elizabeth Blackadder, Sir Robin Philipson and Harry More Gordon. Following graduation her career flourished in illustration and animation for Oscar nominated “Fireman Sam” and “AArdman Animations”.

A continuous thread in my work has been the compulsion to explore time. The passage of time can only be perceived by changes. My background in animation compelled me to explore changing images with precision, and this process has developed my inner capacity of observation of nature in the act of creating my work.  What we experience is affected by the moment before and the moment after. My starting point is a place and my relationship to that place, building up layers of attachment over time . I am often inspired to repeatedly visit the same subject and find this deepens my awareness,  Whilst observing the place subconscious responses will also come into play.  It is not just what you see but how  you see it. Time unfolds along different timelines both physical and dynamic - the ticking of the clock, the tide filling the rockpools, and the knowledge of the place.


Alison has exhibited widely throughout the UK.  Her commissions include Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel and the Royal Bank of Scotland.


Helen A Rose Award

Andrew Grant Bequest

Alison head and shoulders photo jpg copy

Alison Johnston graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA (Hons) in 1983. She was artist in residence for National Trust for Scotland in Fyvie Castle 2001 and has received several awards including Creative Scotland Award, The Eaton Fund,The Helen A Rose Award and Andrew Grant Bequest.

Alison Johnston has exhibited extensively including: 

2021 Royal Scottish Academy, Open Exhibition

2021 North East Open Studio, Collaboration with Iona Hall, Silversmith

2021 VAA International Exhibition

2021 Aire Place Studios, exhibition

2021 Curatorspace online exhibition and catalogue

2021 Flux Summer Exhibition and Magazine

2021 Moray Art Centre, Postcard Exhibition

2021 Grantown Museum, mixed exhibition

2020 FLOW online exhibition 

2020 VAO Emerging Artists Awards, virtual exhibition for shortlisted candidates. 

2020 Gracefield Art Centre 

2020 Quarantzine online art exhibition 

2020 Moray Art Outdoor Festival (postponed) 

2020 Edinburgh printmakers (postponed) 

2019 Joint display Brodie Castle 

2018 Solo Exhibition – open Studio 

2017 Solo Exhibition – open Studio 

2016 Solo Exhibition – open Studio 

2014-15 Footprints Gallery 

2013 Arran Open Studio 

2012 Rockcliffe Gallery, Dumfries and Galloway 

2012 Book illustrations - More to Golf than Golf 

2010 Footprints Gallery 

2010 Artist in Residence, National Trust Scotland, Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire 

2007 Book Illustration -‘Dudley and the Chocolate Birthday cake’, Runningfox Books 

2007 Runner up BP Portrait Award, London 

Victoria Art Gallery, Taunton 

Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries 

Strode Gallery, Somerset 

2004-7 Asney Artists, Somerset 

2006 Archie’s girls, Spring Fling, Dumfries and Galloway 

Strode Gallery, Somerset 

164-168 Cannongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh 

Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury, November 

Studio 13, Castle Cary 

2005 Rockcliffe Gallery, Dumfries and Galloway 

Asney Gallery,Somerset Art weeks open studio 

2004 Harman’s International, Dumfries 

2004 Pictavia Gallery at Brechin Castle 

1996- 2002 – open studio 

1990-96 Animator for Fireman Sam ( Oscar nominated) 

1986-90 Animator for Aardman Animations 

1983-86 Animator for BBC Children’s TV 

1983 City Art Centre, Edinburgh