Philippa Allen (b. 1969, SA) lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. Studied BA Fine Art at the University of Stellenbosch, (1990-93. Philippa Allen uses the landscapes that surround her home as reference and inspiration for the pictures that she draws. “I am surrounded by very beautiful scenes. In these landscapes I try to show the beauty, imagine the destruction and absence of nature and glorify the steadfastness of the environment.” She has participated in group and solo shows since 2003. The most recent solo show was in November 2020 at the AVA Gallery in Cape Town. Some of her artworks were selected for the Ninety One Collection 2021, a showing of South African artists at their head office in London. She plays with the surface of roughly rendered charcoal drawings or manipulated charcoal scenes on top of acrylic layering to convey the different environmental themes that she is dwelling on. Some of the ways in which she does this is by erasing lines, taking from the drawn landscape or by pulling lines through the images. The gestures and disruption on the surface of the artworks are there to alter the scene and to challenge the viewer to examine it. She also explore the links between our mental health, wellbeing and nature. “Humans strive for meaning and validation in life and, in the pursuit of that quest, sometimes miss the simple reflections of meaning and belonging that are presented to us by our local natural landscapes. We also sometimes choose to ignore the fact that these landscapes are often under threat.”
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