Artist’s Statement:           Marie-Andrée Allison

Over my 40 years of practice, two art forms have intertwined around a central axis. One of them is representational and classical; the other is conceptual and abstract. These two lines have evolved around the study of ancient art techniques such as egg tempera, fresco Bueno, intaglio (printmaking) and mosaic.

I have practiced art since childhood, greatly encouraged by my family, teachers and friends. Through research and travels, I have had the privilege of studying with masters in the given art techniques, many of whom were connected with spiritual ways. Princess Eve Galitzine (1909-1993), an accomplished artist and iconographer, remains one of my greatest influences as a teacher. I spent over 10 years studying and painting at her side, writing icons for people and for the church. Professor Dokinanda Sharma, a Brahmin from Banastali, North India, over a couple of sojourns in Victoria accepted me as a student and taught me the art of fresco painting.

In 2004, at the suggestion and encouragement of Fr. John Adams, I began my studies in mosaic with Luciana Notturni in Ravenna, Italy and have returned to work and study with her on a regular basis to help carry on the decoration of St. Sophia Church.

Since the 1990s I have enjoyed an ongoing collaboration with master printmaker Susy Raxlen in my practice of intaglio printmaking.

For several years now I have been building a body of work in whites, with themes such as dimensions, and time and space as subjects of exploration. The culmination of these works will be a show called “Bianco,” taking place at Martin Bachelor Gallery from June 6-30th.

The beauty of whites fascinates me; its qualities bring a sense of inner reflection as it also outwardly reflects light in very particular ways according to the given technique or medium used. For instance, in intaglio, it is absorbed and oxidized by the copper plate, giving new variations to the white inks and paper. In encaustics, the texture of the smooth sun-bleached beeswax reminds me of creamed honey. In mosaics, white marble, onyx and glass dance with the light that reflects from all sides of the tesserae. The fresco surface provides a smooth stone-like surface that absorbs mineral pigments and embeds them in matter close to their origin, while in oils I enjoy developing images that remind the viewer to breathe more deeply. These are only a few examples of the pleasure I find working with white in these media.


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