Firmly grounded in the traditions of the studio, Katie Allen’s paintings are immensely seductive to the eye. They remind us of the timeless bond of art and beauty. Each is a masterful exercise in the harmonies of colour, scale and form, and demonstrates a remarkable visual acuity.Her pictures derive from her immediate experience of nature, although given the complexity of the results, it is a paradox how informal yet truly mysterious this process is. Allen’s practice is a prism through which what’s ‘out there’ is refracted into a unique personal vision. Countless natural forms are boiled down to simple motifs, that are, each in their turn, redeployed in a tight and seamlessly orchestrated whole. Significantly, subtle variations of tone and colour are built up graphically, allowing for a plethora of historical and cultural references to jostle for attention across the picture plane: mosaic and stained glass, Persian and Indian miniatures, Arabic calligraphy, Viennese art deco, 70s psychedelia.It is hard to conceive of these landscapes as real places. They are perhaps the idealised landscapes and vistas of the mind. They are backdrops to fairytales. However, unlike a proper fairytale they appear to contain no moral thus demonstrating a very modern indecision in which we all have a stake, between a landscape engineered in the mind, and one engineered in practical reality.
Anders Pleass
Head of Exhibitions, Mostyn