Photo Credit: "There, I'm Done..." by Wayne Allan, 2019 You Me Gallery, Hamilton
Born in Brantford in 1941, Wayne Allan studied philosophy at the University of Western, London, ON; and McMaster University, Hamilton, ON. Following, Allan taught literature for over 25 years at Mohawk College, Hamilton, ON. At the same time, he pursued his love of the arts with studies in sculpture, printmaking, collage and other media at such institutions as Mohawk College, McMaster University, Dundas Valley School of Art, and elsewhere.
Allan exhibited his work at the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, Brantford; Burlington Cultural Centre, Burlington; Carnegie Gallery, Dundas; the Hamilton Artist Inc.; and Gallery on the Bay, Hamilton. He was an active creative member with the Hamilton Artist Inc.; Carnegie Gallery; and Hamilton Arts and Letters. He was noted as one of the founding members of the Tiger Group Arts Collective. Alongside recognized artists like Conrad Furey, Allan sought to enrich and uplift the local arts community.
His artist statement with the collective stated that:
“Wayne Allan, Sculptor, working in wood and stone, follows the special properties, natural grain and lines of pieces on which he works. Primitive statements of man, his gods, his hopes and fears, emerge from each piece. Manlike faces reflect all men and cultures—past and present.”
Wayne Allan was a deeply spiritual artist and embedded the knowledge he acquired at various retreats and workshops on meditation into his artworks. One of his final series from 2016 reflects on using art as a form of meditation and finding inner balance. In this series, Allan created monotone collage reliefs and kept them to a minimum of two colours—gold and black. The imagery was primarily about texture, shape, and balance between those foundations of art—equaling non-representational interpretations. However, a few reliefs showcased literal depictions and narratives like “Jacob’s Dream.”
Regina Haggo, a contributor writer for the Hamilton Spectator observes,
“Allan tells the story of Jacob, an Old Testament patriarch who dreams about a ladder stretching from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending. Allan’s version is succinct. Inside a frame, we encounter a worn, roughly textured head with wide open eyes and mouth placed in front of a ladder with four rungs visible. We have to imagine the angels.”
Haggo’s article witnessed the retrospective show “There, I’m Done…” presented posthumous at the You Me Gallery, Hamilton, in 2019.
Wayne Allan’s artworks can be found in private collections in Canada. His estate of is represented by Earls Court Gallery, Hamilton, ON.