Environmental artist Jane Ingram Allen will be presenting a series of installations at the Tenri Gallery in the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City, under the title Still Water. Open through May 31st, each of these works is site-specific, made with handmade paper and pulp containing seeds for wildflowers. Along with a pledge to conserve water, guests to the Still Water exhibition are invited to take with them a pod from the wall to plant. Allen will be replacing and replenishing them on the gallery walls as they are taken, constantly changing the configuration of the installation transcending typical stationary and purely aesthetic artworks. After the exhibition the remaining drops will be absorbed into the soil to continue the cycle of life.
The installation Still Water refers to the growing problem throughout the world of having enough water for humans as well as other forms of life; there is “still water” but much of it is polluted and inaccessible. This work also brings attention to the increasing use of plastic water bottles and the growing number of people worldwide who are getting their drinking water in plastic bottles, increasing waste management problems and pollution in the world’s oceans. This installation features handmade paper castings of 200 plastic water bottles created during Allen’s December 2007 artist-in-residency at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts, with the help of art students in Taiwan.
No Water emphasizes the serious problem of drought in many parts of the world. This work, made after Allen’s February 2008 artist-in-residency in Tanzania, Africa, uses handmade paper created from local plants and the red clay of the Tanzanian earth, where there is no water.
The Tenri Cultural Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes the study of Japanese culture and language, international art, harmony and community. Along with Allen, Artist Marcia Widenor will also be exhibiting her installation “After the Tsunami,” addressing climate issues and their effect on our worlds oceans.
Jane Ingram Allen is an American environmental artist living in New York. She has been an artist in residence in the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Tanzania and throughout the United States. Allen has been an art professor at The University of New York in Morrisville, and at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. She is an art critic and writer for Sculpture Magazine as well an an independent curator. Upcoming artist in residencies include the Mass Audubon Society Visual Arts Center in Canton, Massachusetts in July and the Artist’s House at St. Mary’s College, Maryland in October.