At art school I worked on huge 7 foot square abstract colour field paintings. But since then I’ve concentrated on looking around me and interpreting what IBrunel Bridge: Richard Allman: Brunel Bridge: Richard Allman see.
I have two areas of work. First is my interest in regeneration projects and the change to our surroundings. I’m fascinated by the process of change to buildings all around us. Much of this work is large scale drawing projects concerned with demolition and reconstruction – buildings partially there, the machinery being used and the superb new vistas opened up, often only temporarily. I am most interested in the process – when the building is completed, my fascination seems to disappear!
Richard Allman in studio: Richard Allman in studio I think a lot of people relate more easily to such drawings than to plans or models. I’m really pleased if this work helps to involve people more in the change to their surroundings, to really see what’s going on and form a judgement. Photography is vital in recording change too, but drawing can be more subjective, personal, quirky and expressive in complementing photography.
The second area of work is subject led – responding to a whole range of subjects which fascinate me, from boats (I am a sailor myself with a special interest in classic boats), bridges, reflections and shadows to yellow road markings, allotments, gates, topiary and interesting buildings which aren’t going to be demolished but which just speak to us in a unique way.
I usually work in mixed media on paper, and occasionally in oils. Mainly I work outside drawing in front of the subject.
I also teach drawing, which I feel is still the most direct form of communication. Drawing enables us to really see what is around us and to interpret it in whatever way we choose.
Weir Quay Boatyard: Richard Allman: Weir Quay Boatyard: Richard Allman For the Tide Table commission by Weir Quay Boatyard the theme was the Yard and the river. I wanted to sum up what this wonderful place is all about, so my approach was to spend plenty of time poking around the yard and looking at it from as many different angles as I could. Then I focussed on about half a dozen images. I love boats, particularly out of the water as the whole shape of the hull is visible. I’m also fascinated by structures, so the jetties themselves provided another subject, with boats at anchor as well as propped up on the quay, and the hills rising up behind.
The Tamar theme for the Artists in a Boatshed exhibition was a challenge to me to broaden my approach and try different ways of working. I have worked on various themes – Brunel’s Saltash bridge, boats & jetties, Morwellham and the Tamar river-scapes of meanders, trees, fields and hills. For several of them I have departed from my usual style – some of the pen and ink drawings are looser with dribbles, splashes, more colour and more experimental. I have also done some more abstract paintings of the Tamar – some frankly experimental – in oils and mixed media. I have worked outside for all of them and then completed them in the studio.
Morwellham Quay: Richard Allman: Morwellham Quay: Richard Allman http://www.richardallman.co.uk/