Ambrosine Allen’s complex and elaborate collages are created with tiny paper cuttings taken from discarded encyclopaedias – raw material imbued with evidence of mankind’s scientific, mythological and historical enlightenment. These fragments are then painstakingly assembled into majestic invented and imagined landscapes. Terrains evolve, layer by layer as more and more cuttings are added. A development of tectonic geology occurs and new geographies take shape. Underneath each finished work sits multiple alternate renderings – the channels and tributaries of flowing water, discarded conurbations, swirling skies, and the rise and fall of the evolving topographies.
The undertaking is extraordinarily lengthy with each piece taking several months to complete. The final image existing only as a result of the turmoil and transformation of it’s construction.
The resultant landscapes are both familiar yet alien. Human traces are scattered and buried, nature seizes and conquers. ‘After the Ascent’ offers us a potential evolution shaped by the magnificent capabilities of the natural world in riposte to the egotism of human endeavour.
Are these vistas to be viewed as foreboding visions or do we witness a panorama of reawakening and renewal? These works go straight to the heart of a prescient anxiety concerning our harmony with this world that we inhabit.
Joseph Clarke | 2015