Simultaneously fantastical and real, beautiful yet troubling, the collages by Allen depict a world in turmoil, landscapes of altered ecosystems that are subject to bizarre natural phenomena. Ruins sit strewn amongst unfamiliar geology, the sea invades the land as the land shifts, the sky broods and terrifying storms roll in. Informed by the science, myths and history of humanity’s interaction with the environment, the series presents us with a ‘new world’, an alternative evolution that shadows our own but is violently shaped by the power and majesty of nature and the self destructive force of mankind.
Allen makes intricate collages, meticulously created using layer upon layer of tiny paper cuttings. The cuttings come from images found in discarded books and encyclopaedias, which are broken down into fragments so small that the images are reassembled using tweezers. The subjects are landscapes, often epic in scope but with a detailed aesthetic that references 17th and 18th century engravings of a geographical nature. Each piece often takes several months to complete.
Allen completed a BA in Fine Art: Drawing at Lancaster University and MA at Wimbledon College of Art, graduating in 2005. She is now living and working in South London.