Ali Rouse’s work conjures up an animism of distinctly shamanic qualities. The work is of the earth, using the scaffolds of life that once transported wild animal spirits. These bodies that have been partially returned to the earth by the beautiful spirit that once carried it are now reincarnated and reanimated using stones and precious metals dug from the earth and glass beads spun from the sands of time. The work presents a permanent and luminous presence of the animal/earth spirit that it celebrates. Ali weaves all of these earth elements into spectacular manifestations of animal and earth intertwined with each other, of each other and by each other.
The work projects to the viewer a message; Here I am dead, yet in beauty I live forever, my energy frozen in time, vibrating with color, texture and light.
Taking anywhere from 15 to 80 hours to create, Ms. Rouse links the elements of nature and design to create elaborate designs. Most of the animals she represents are emblematic of the region, such as the bison, bull, and ram. She also uses rare African impala, oryx and kudu because of their distinct shape and beautiful elegance.
A skilled artisan, Ms. Rouse has received major national coverage for her fashion and design work. Her jewelry has been featured by In Style and Vogue magazines, as well as on The Early Show. The skulls are her most recent artistic venture, and have been exhibited throughout the Southwest, as well as in New York, Dallas, Orlando and Colorado.
Alison began working with beads at the age of twelve in her home state of New York. At seventeen, she relocated to Boston, MA, to attend Newbury College and study interior design. This training inspired passion for color and the use of texture in her beadwork. She has also lived on the Caribbean island Barbados and in Virginia.
At twenty two, Ali headed west to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she was inspired to begin beading skulls. She purchased her first skull at the Santa Fe flea market and began by trial and error. The first skull still hangs proudly in her home studio. She was recently the featured artist in Albuquerque, The Magazine, April, 2008 issue. Also in 2008, Ali had a showing at the Harwood Museum located in Taos, New Mexico through the National Museum for Women in the Arts and became a proud member of the Corrales Society of Artists.