Molly Allen

Artist Statement

My work negotiates the friction between cognitive perceptions, dreams and the subtle failures to distinguish what is real and what is not. For me, the human body is a constant source of inspiration, a universal form we both inhabit and relate through.

Representational sculptures and renderings of the body are often approached with a residual degree of respect, care, interest, and distance because of their implied intimacy. Their familiar forms create a sense of personal space that interacts with our own. Therefore, eliciting our sympathy through an understanding that representationally, they embody the feeling of consciousness. My work evokes the uncanny through the slippage and subsequent defiance of expectation that is almost imperceptible.

I approach sculpting and composing images similarly through layering—physically, pictorially, formally, and conceptually. Combining clay objects and image, both found and made, one of my recent project utilized a digital scanner. A 24-minute scan was made to reflect the personal data collected in a 24-hour day. Using a combination of digital biofeedback and handwritten recollections of dreams, each day is cataloged through quantitative data – what my body was physically doing, and narrative – where my mind was in spite of my physiological state. Using these sources as inputs, I created ceramic objects from the personal data that are the source of the images. This work explores the threshold of mind and body. Engaging in the acknowledged futility of attempting to define fleeting moments in archival ways, I strive to communicate the subtle complexities of feeling, and of being.

Eyes close, each eyelash meets another. Sun as seen through eyelids, is a dull orange.

-- Molly Allen


Originally from the mountains of Summit County Colorado, Molly Allen received a BFA in 2013 with concentrations in both Ceramics and New Genres from Sierra Nevada College, where she graduated as Valedictorian. Molly completed a Post-Baccalaurette Program at the University of Montana and has been a resident artist at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Art, Mendocino Art Cente, Medalta International in Canada, a summer resident at the International Ceramics Studio in kecskemet Hungary. Molly has received multiple grants that have supported practice and research and her work has exhibited nationally and internationally in over 50 exhibitions. Most recently She completed her MFA in ceramics from Ohio University is now a winter artist in residence at The Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity in Canada.