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"I've always wanted to do something more abstract"

Friday 07 April 2023

"I've always wanted to do something more abstract"

Friday 07 April 2023

A local art teacher and 'plein air' painter of two decades is inviting islanders to enjoy his first foray into abstract works this weekend at Le Hocq Tower.

Robert Allen, an art teacher at Hautlieu School, has been making and exhibiting art in Jersey, the UK and Italy for 20 years.

Robert said: "I'm an artist without a studio, so I tend to do my work out and about in the landscape."

For much of his time in Jersey, he has been using La Hocq Tower as an ad hoc studio space. 

"A little while ago, I asked Heritage if I could turn it into a little gallery. So annually I go in, clear out the pigeon toilet that it tends to turn into, and turn it into a space.

"It's little and the lighting isn't brilliant, but there's an an amazing sense of history in there to go with the paintings." 


Pictured: North Coast by Robert Allen. 

This year, Robert is aiming to broaden the horizons of the Jersey audience with his latest series of 'Abstracted Landscapes'.

His inspiration for this latest round of paintings came from Cornwall, where he studied at the Falmouth College of Art, and the abstract expressionist artists of St. Ives such as Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. 

He said: "My aim is to create artwork that describes not just the physical aspects of a place but the sensation of being there... The things that draw me into a landscape are the flux and variation in the landscape.

"The shapes, textures, and moods of the landscape that we all respond to in our own individual ways are a constant source of inspiration."


Pictured: Devil's Hole by Robert Allen. 

For Robert, this will be the first time that he will exhibit something this abstract.

"Up until now I feel like I've been training. I've always wanted to do something more abstract, but you really need to understand the landscape first... It's a bit of a tester to see what the Jersey audience can handle. I don't really know where I'm going with it, truth be told, it's just an experiment." 


Robert's work will be on display in Le Hocq tower on Saturday and Sunday (8 and 9 April) from 12:00 until 18:00. 

Following this, Robert will be displaying larger work that he has been working on since the summer at the Greve de Lecq Barracks on 15 and 16 April from 10:00 to 17:00. 

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