Week 5: Artist Interview – Brianna Allen

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Mating Rituals IV

Work Hardened. My first blog post about a gallery that isn’t about painting and drawing! Brianna’s gallery really interests me because metal work requires more of a craftiness skill with the hands. I enjoy working with my hands. Back in middle school I took this woodcutting class and I don’t mean to brag or anything but my projects were among the top of my class. There is something satisfying about creating something with your own two hands. Not to say that a painting isn’t created by the hand but I mean something as in an object if that makes any sense.

So some backstory: Brianna started crafting because she wanted to be a jeweler. It is something she can enjoy doing while at the same time making money because who doesn’t like jewelry? She chose to go to Long Beach because there is a blacksmithing program here. She enjoys working with metal because as a perfectionist, it does what she wants it to do and it stays that way afterwards. I understand what she means by this. Sometimes I do paper origami and just when I get it where I want, a crease or something gets messed up and it ruins my piece. Also, metal is less likely to break so it is always a safe bet when handling. Unfortunately, Brianna’s “Mating Rituals IV” (the one with the chess set) involved some sand and someone accidentally bumped into the podium and knocked a piece over and that is why the sand is out of place in certain areas.

Mating Rituals IV

Mating Rituals IV

Network

Network

Promethean Bonds

Promethean Bonds

Some specific works I asked Brianna about were: Networks and Mating Rituals IV. The checkered patterned chess board in “Mating Rituals IV” was really interesting so I had to ask Brianna why did she use a chess board. She has always loved to play chess and actually made a chess set with origami and currency. So she wanted to incorporate her love for chess into her work.

When I saw the water tower, I thought it was odd how she named that piece “Network.” However, after she explained that the water tower is like a source that connects the community, thus forming a network. She also put it next to another one of her works named “Channel 2” and it is a little TV set. I guess she wanted the water tower to be a network because unlike most people who spends hours a day on their phones, social media networks, etc., Brianna tries to step away from all of that. She wants to make people notice what she’s doing by accomplishing things in real life rather than on a screen. So instead of Facebook or something like that as her network, she has a water tower.

I wanted to ask what was the meaning behind Promethean Bonds but unfortunately we ran out of time. She does have a show in a couple of weeks so I will be looking forward to that!

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