Nancy Allen examines the visual language of objects and their relationship with the human body. Using and referencing everyday subjects, such as clothing, soft furnishings, packaging, luggage and sports equipment, Allen’s sculptures suggest the presence of a human body or are provocative of its engagement with elements of the work. This conceptual temptation of functionality is upended by a series of playful, flamboyant and ultimately aesthetic; objects that express an anarchic fervour of theatricality and fun. Patterns are cut and stitched together so as to produce the form of the work through their own tailoring. Familiar objects are subverted. Bean bags are rendered figurative and fleshy. Tents provide little shelter. Allen’s use of materials range from upholstery fabrics, velvet, denim and faux fur; to clear PVC, mosquito netting and nylon webbing, straddling contexts associated with domesticity and principles of utilitarian production.
Nancy Allen (b. 1992, Cambridge) lives and works in London. Allen received her BA (Hons) Sculpture from Wimbledon College of Art. Recent solo presentations of her work include: What a Time to be Alive, B.A.E.S., Deptford, London (2016) and The Nancy Allen Show, Nice Gallery, Colliers Wood, London (2015). Recent group exhibitions include: Bodily Encounters, A.P.T. Gallery, Deptford, London (2018); Outpost Members Show 2018, Outpost, Norwich (2018); and Prop Me Up, Bankley Gallery, Manchester (2018). In 2017 Allen completed the PACTO Residency in Athens and in 2018 was selected for the Gilbert Bayes Award.