About the Artist

Rich Allen

Rich Allen describes himself as “a London-Brit by birth, and an Australian by choice!” 

He studied painting and drawing between 1968 and 1973, and is an honours graduate from the Central St Martins School of Art, in London. 

Following six years teaching art and coaching sport at high school level in The Bahamas, Rich migrated to Brisbane in 1982, and on arrival opened a graphic design practice specialising in corporate identity [a service he describes as making business strategy visible through design and defines as one of “differentiation by design”]. Following a great deal of soul searching, fuelled by a desire for personal re-invention, Rich returned to his fine art origins on a full-time basis, in late 2009.

Working with the single-minded theme of ‘intimism’ [capturing quiet/fleeting moments], and driven by process, Rich’s approach is organised and measured, with all his time accurately recorded. In April 2021, he accrued 20000 hours of practice [comprising two scopes of 10000 hours, one carrying the moniker ‘apprentice’ and the other ‘journeyman’]. He has calculated and charted the various dates during which he believes “brief spells of progress” have been achieved, and is currently engaged in a third scope as ‘artisan’. He has given this 10000-hour target the title: “Surrender to Uncertainty”. 

Rich states: “I believe that my work is simply about a disciplined pursuit towards some sort of mastery.” He adds: “Mastery is best expressed through this definition by Aikido master George Leonard. It reads: ‘MASTERY: the mysterious process during which what is at first difficult, becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice. Embracing and enjoying plateaus of pure practice is paramount to my processes of working.”

In more recent years, Rich has developed a presentation: “talking in whispers”, which he has given to a number of professional entities, including the Australian Institute of Architects’ continuing development programme throughout 2019. This illustrated talk is divided into a number of segments, verbalizing and visualizing his journey from its outset.