The Gallery At 15, Aesthetics of Allen

by Sue Beesley

The artist Allen recently opened The Gallery at 15 which can be found at 15 Church Street, Beaumaris, LL58 8ET on Anglesey.

Allen: I will search until I find - something I may never find ..... Something lying on the ground in the bottom of my mind.

Sue Beesley: Why do you use that quotation as an opening statement, Allen?

Allen: Although I put names to what I do, this is not definitive because in nearly all the sculptures, paintings and drawings I hope you will find something that is a bit more evocative than simply what you see.

It can be simple - this is a pleasant scene, or a beautiful face. Enjoy looking at it (it may be disturbing or ugly - be disquieted ... or something ... at any rate be something you weren't a minute ago and wouldn't be but for this painting).

From this level of thinking and looking the painting or sculpture is largely in your hands.

The artist achieves or fails in his attempts at empathy by his choice, and use, of what he sculpts or puts inside the frame, plus the thoughts, emotions and imagination of the viewer.

And again, there are levels of empathy.

You may be taken there, watching that sunset, meeting that person, experiencing that event.

Or , a strictly personal one, I am here; am part of this; that is ME; that is from MY life!

And, or, the painting may embody for you the peace and sadness of all sunsets; the inevitability of, and anger against, old age; the beauty and innocence ofyouth; the terrible finality and yet unavoidable repetition of this one particular event ....

The joy of a painting or sculpture is that it is always there, waiting,unchanged; to be explored ....

I would like you to find all these things in, and do all these things with my paintings and sculpture.

Take time ..... to help create something that was not there before, by the addition of your feelings to what I have done.

And you can go back again and view it at that same level. Or experience it at another level. Or both at once. Or, simply, find it a pleasing design of pleasant colour.

SB: Why a gallery, Allen?

Allen: It is much more fun and interesting for me to have the opportunity to meet and talk with the people who find my work either appealing, challenging, emotional or impossible.

While I have been painting and drawing for most of my life I have also, particularly while my children were growing up, done a number of varied jobs in order to gain a steady income for their food, lipstick, beer money and a mortgage.

I worked on an island farm near Skye for two years - one family, one farm, then ran my own small garden centre/nursery for fifteen years on Anglesey.

Then I worked for Sue Ryder where I was involved with groups of Polish concentration camp survivors.

Following this I became a teacher in special schools in London - Islington - helping kids who had been chucked out of mainstream schools for impossible behaviour.

On retirement I had an organic show garden with a gallery in the converted cowshed in Lynfaes, near Llangefni and now I enjoy living in Beaumaris, walking the mountains and seaside, Offa's Dyke and the old Roman and droving roads.

All these varied experiences and the children and adults I have met have enriched and enhanced my life providing the sources of my ideas behind the paintings.

You will find many photographs of my paintings and sculptures on my web site - plus a CV and details of past exhibitions.

And there is also information on a book I have written about a possible organic and pollution-free future for Anglesey.

Contact Allen, T: 01248 810426 or 661
Opening times: Wednesdays to Saturdays 10.30 - 5.30, Sundays 12.30 opening; Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

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