Jen Allen: New Work

Aug 29th - Sep 21st, 2008

My work stems from a fascination of physical, emotional, and spiritual nourishment. I am attracted to vases that celebrate flowers and objects that enrich daily ritual. My forms swell like a Tang Dynasty wannian (many year jar) and contract like a Spanish Maiolica albarello (apothecary jar). They reflect the modesty found in English medieval tankards and emulate the grace indicative of Northern Song Dynasty wares. Folds, seams, darts and pillowed knobs reinforce a sense of generosity as they relate to my love of sewing.

My color palette is based on the Alaskan landscape. From the awe-inspiring aurora borealis and mid-winter alpenglow to the intensity of glacial recession and drama of summer flora, the Alaskan landscape never ceases to captivate and inspire. An assortment of clay and glaze materials allows me to translate these memories. From deep glacial blues and rich earthy oranges to vibrant floral hues and warm winter whites, I am able to articulate nature’s phenomena with each piece.

My surface imagery is inspired by post WWII textile design and Japanese kimono fabric as sources that honor and celebrate everyday life. My use of floral decals acts as a veil that both obscures and enhances the painted layers beneath. Similar to architecture and fashion, my forms’ exterior acts as a decorative envelop while the interior facilitates the sensual space of nourishment.

My work commemorates various emotional and psychological influences including family, loss, beauty and mystery. From the significance of home, the transience of relationships and the awe of nature, my fondest memories inform my creative process. I look to my pottery as individual utilitarian forms that mirror my perceptions of beauty, mystery, nourishment and celebration.