A Tribute to Alison – A Designs in Mind Member

Member Stories

Last year amongst the busy studio hustle and bustle, we had the sad and sudden news of losing one of our members, Alison Scott.

Alison was a long-standing member of Designs in Mind, she had a place in all of our hearts, was a friend to many and was loved by all who met her.

Needless to say, many of our members attended her funeral, alongside her family and other friends, to give Alison the send-off she so deserved.

I asked Jennie, Alison’s daughter to share about her Mum’s paintings and Designs in Mind journey.

“Mum has always liked painting but did more after my dad passed away, to keep her occupied I think.

Mum loved going to Designs in Mind and loved trying new things in all aspects of art and craft. She loved to show me my sister all of her paintings, drawings, sketchings, felt work, embroidery etc. She was very grateful to Designs in Mind for helping her through some very hard times, as she practised and honed her artistic skills.

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Mum had so many paintings that we just couldn’t keep them all unfortunately, so we decided to donate them to Designs in Mind, so they could use them or sell them to raise funds.”

One year on from her passing, Alison’s paintings are on display at the Qube, in the exhibition ‘Just let Paint Speak’, which is a wonderful way to showcase her work to the public.

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This idea was inspired by Alison’s family donating her canvases of art to The Designs in Mind studio. Alison also attended Joseph Schneider’s group PaintAble which runs at the Qube. Various pieces from folk who attend PaintAble are on display alongside Alison’s work

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I spoke with Joseph,he shared: “It was good to have a member who attended both Designs in Mind and the Qube.”

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It was Joseph who thought that Alison’s work should have it’s own Memorial Exhibition featured.

The exhibition is currently on display and runs to 2nd September 2023.

One particular piece you will see, should you visit, will be fondly kept on display in the Designs in Mind studio once the exhibition closes, it is a stunning piece, depicting Ayers Rock aka Uluru, a large sandstone formation in the centre of Australia.

In a tribute to Alison’s impact on many of our members, including myself, I’ve shared my thoughts and feelings about knowing Alison and asked a few of our members to contribute some word’s on Alison’s impact on their life’s too.

Reading those words, written by others, before adding them to this blog, truly moved me to cathartic tears. She was one very special person indeed.

I personally only knew Alison for around six months, however in that short time frame, she made a lasting impression on me! I recall speaking with a member of staff at the studio, saying it felt so difficult loosing someone I was only just getting to know and feeling it was wrong to feel that way, when others were closer to her. That understanding staff member said: “that it could easily feel just as sad loosing someone you were only just getting to know” which really helped.

Alison had a lovely way of making me feel confident in my art abilities and was welcoming to me from the outset. She was a fan of the colour purple and I recall my first day at new referrals, where I wore purple lipstick, intrepidly, to hide behind a colour, because I was nervous. I need not have worried! I sat next to Alison that day and recall how it went down with her, she commented on it being FAB! She went onto share with me how she painted a pair of her glasses purple, so I soon felt welcomed and accepted.

Alison was a very glamorous lady, always so well dressed, with her make up on, this always made an lasting impression on me as she experienced a lot of physical pain every day, due to having MS. I admired her for being able to present herself so well through all of that pain. On my harder emotionally painful days, her pushing through, showing up so glamorously to Singing Group, reminds me I can get my crumpled clothes and plain face out the door, no matter what!”

Jenny B wrote: “It’s so lovely seeing Alison’s work on display. I’m sure she would be thrilled that this exhibition is showcasing her talent, although she would be so modest about it.

A year on already since we lost her and the studio is still continuing to talk about her. We keep playing ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay on our Tuesday studio sessions playlist, in her memory. On Monday’s we often sing it in singing group, as it was a popular one she liked.

There’s still a hole in the studio where she was. I know she had many friends but I’m grateful for the connection to her, which I also shared.”

Carl’s words

For the late, great, Alison Scott

“Alison Scott passed away just over year ago. The loss at Design in Mind is still felt by all who had known her.

I didn’t know Alison as well as some others, but she made her mark on me!

Initially ,after my new referrals, I found it difficult to make connections with the current members of that time, but Alison….well, somehow she cast that spell over me and I knew then, I was going too enjoy myself at the Studio.

She transpired the age gap with all who came into contact with her. Every time that I was in her presence Alison had my attention, whether she would be telling everyone on how boring her weekend was, but to me it felt like an adventure.

She was glamorous with her appearance, softly spoken, but on the odd occasion she could change, then return back like nothing happened!

She was a very talented artist, even though she wouldn’t have thought so, but some of her later pieces were outstanding! From my point of view, Alison was a spearhead in bringing us members closer towards the staff. When I was told that she had sadly passed away, I felt like my whole entire world had crashed, not only did we lose a member but it felt a similar loss to my connection with my Nan who passed away 11 years ago.

And even a year and a bit on, it’s only now that life at Designs in Mind is slowly starting to get back together. Every time I hear the lift chime, I think that you’ll be coming through the door and plonking yourself at your seat.

You’ve touched so many people our life’s won’t be same no matter how hard we try.

Miss you so much. May you continue to rest in peace.”

Thank you to Alison’s family for donating her artworks, to Jennie her daughter for sharing about Alison’s journey with us and to Jenny B and Carl for their beautifully written tributes and poignant words.

Thank you Alison, for being such a light in our lives , you will always be remembered in our heart’s , our words and memories.

If you’ve experience bereavement and need someone to talk to here are some organisations to contact:

https://uandicounselling.org.uk/

If your not ready to talk about it here is an article on coping with bereavement:

https://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/your-family/family-life/coping-with-bereavement

Blog Written & researched by Willow, Member & Social Media Coordinator