"I am fascinated by how the personal and the universal relate to one another. The most deeply personal of experiences often turn out to have a profoundly universal significance; and conversely, the most general of expressions can resonate with the greatest intimacy."
Thomas Allen (b. 1989) is a British artist whose distinctive style finds its inspiration in the Surrealist movement. Appropriating the technique of automatic drawing, Allen’s works are explorations into the personal, and sometimes collective, unconscious. Working with these preliminary scribbles, he gives life to forms and figures, that rather than being concrete, instead allow his viewers to create and imagine their own narratives.
Revealing the Unconscious
Allen has earned national acclaim for his cave paintings. Transforming an intimate exhibition space into a cave with his canvases spread across the walls, Allen works by the light of a small handheld lamp. He invites individuals to freely contribute to the initial underdrawings, with no intentional guidance, forcing them to suppress the control and express their subconscious. Allen then transforms these underdrawings into magnificent surrealist paintings, representing the collective unconscious of a community.