The Art of Imagination - Louise Allen

Friday 1 Mar - Sunday 24 Mar

Exhibition open 7 days - 10am to 4pm

The Art of Imagination: new work by Louise Allen.

Louise Allen is an award winning New Zealand artist currently working in West Auckland, though originally trained in fine art in the UK in the late 1980s.

This body of new work explores how messages from the unconscious mind surface through imagery, and how remembering is activated through associative means.

These paintings navigate through the primary and secondary processes of identification and representation as Freudian and Lacanian theories of the unconscious inform the work. For example, through ‘pareidolia’ (the primal human urge to see recognisable objects) associative mark making allows free drawing to achieve a kind of fantastical and ‘adjacent’ image-noise to accompany the world and its events. Recent personal experiences of grief and loss and the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders have allowed the artist to effect an imagistic transcendence of place-time and to encompass the experience of painting within self-identification processes. What follows this somewhat ‘dislodged’ freedom of expression is a pictorial travelogue through historical art movements such as expressionism and folk art (Klee, Chagall, Rousseau), along with interior design and illustrative motifs reminiscent of the mid to late twentieth century which are in line with the artist’s biographical development.

Arguably, this work challenges the deliberate negation, denial and occlusion of meaningful and associative imagery within more ‘abstract’ art movements, whilst also obfuscating the imagined dichotomy between the abstract and the pictorial.

The works are hence ‘planned’ in an unpredictable and changeable way in relation to an outcome which never deliberately aims for abstraction, symbolisation, figuration, iconography, metaphor or narration but which allows for any one, or all, to become the frame on which to hang the affective experience for the viewer. This practice is intertwined with a responsibility to the art audience to produce imagery within a shared life-world which can at times be cruel and painful and, at others, peaceful and safe.


the way animals look at us.JPG

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The Upstairs Gallery

Level 1 Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road, Titirangi, Auckland 0604

Monday to Sunday

10am to 4pm