Previous Exhibition

Rich Allen —
Fleeting World

Sep 2 – Sep 17, 2021

About the Artist      

The theme of Rich’s watercolour drawings is INTIMISM, [quiet time, slow time], and his subject is the female figure and pattern. He has enthusiastically worked across 12 years in the pursuit of mastery, clocking up over 20,600 hours of dedicated practice time. 

While the artistic practice spans physical drawings, Rich has developed a highly philosophical understanding of his journey and his overall practice is made up of artworks on paper and talks, evidencing and theorizing on how his personal vision for mastery is attained.

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.

About the Curator

Laura Brinin

Laura Brinin is a curator of contemporary art, currently facilitating the vibrant program at Side Gallery in the heart of Red Hill, Brisbane. With an unwavering passion for nurturing connections with emerging and established creatives, Laura is dedicated to fostering artistic growth through avenues such as social media, branding, and identity development.

Laura has exhibited her own work both in Australia and overseas, as well as working as an independent freelance curator across Brisbane for over ten years. In her downtime, you can find her reading, travelling, or stalking dogs.