Allan cites a display in the Melbourne Museum presenting moving images of the elegant creatures that inhabit depths never before explored. For Allan this proves to be an inspirational space where movement is unrestricted, a space that is like Space. In these gravity free zones, awe becomes the driving force for paintings that deal with the increasing accessibility of previously inaccessible spaces: deep sea and deep space. But this is no space of fear and Allan evokes Bachelard’s “intimate immensity” in which the vast becomes a poetic space of meditation, a “philosophical space of daydream”.
In Nada and the Whale Allan appropriates the story of Jonah and imbues it with a distinctive personal perspective. Consisting of a grid of small paintings/collages Allan explores the idea of a universal mythic journey that continues to have contemporary relevance.
Excerpts from catalogue essay by David Broker; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.