There are moments before sleep, in dreams or reverie in which images pass through the mind. Then again, sometimes at dusk, voices will carry from a landscape of half seen trees and figures, in a merging of what is physical with the ephemeral and marginal. This is the territory of Viv Allen's work. Through her camera obscuras, none of which use lenses, she creates transient images which hover on the edges of everyday perception.
'...Individual forms are irrelevant. The image is textured, but you can't hold it. You feel that you can touch it, but you can't. It seems to have more substance because it is out of focus.. .”
Audiences are important to her and engagement in something more contemplation than spectacle. The canvas, wattle and daub or cedar wood structures she has made invite us to that which is not dream or theatre, but is akin to both. The limitless outside is drawn in as a moving image, and the dislocation of sight sound also brings a sense of the infinite...“what you see you don't necessarily hear, and what you hear, you don't necessarily see. The architecture of a bridge, a landscape, or my daughter skipping, whatever the subject, each occupies the same place and qualities of image ...”
Waiting reveals these scenes. More than material process, her work is a study of contradiction, the essence of which is in memory, marginal places and twilight.
Viv Allen's skill is in the design of these 'dark chambers', and the values which inhabit them. She also makes digital film and photographs of the interiors. There is a kind of sonority about what she creates, which she does, not in order to make something happen, but: ” to enable something to happen for anyone open enough...' (Ian Starsmore, February 2012)
CV & Education
2011 - Ceramic wall hangings, Tea Lounge Gallery, Norwich UK
2009 - Step into our world, Wymondham Art Centre, Wymonham, Norfolk, UK
2008 - Sea House Light House Spirit House, Salthouse Church, North Norfolk, Norfolk UK
2009 - International Guest Residency, Kokarkultur, Kokar, Finland
2012 - North Sea. Ceramic wall hanging, 3m in length, Norwich, Norwich, UK
2011 - Heaven and Earth, bamboo and canvas camera obscura, Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail, Bergh Apton, Norfolk, UK
2009 - Cedar and Oak Camera Obscura, Earlham Early Years Centre, Norwich UK