John Allen

John is driven to working with wood sculpture by an inner force of contemplative questioning. For John, the magic of found wood presents an outlet for his creative practice, one that is intertwined with a meditation, surf and yoga practice, the anecdotes to John's earlier life as a Berkeley graduate and CFO.  

 As an avid surfer the presence of coastal pohutukawa and found driftwood organically became John's chosen medium; the presentation of fallen branches and uncovered roots representing the ebb and flow of our lives, and the inter-connectedness of life and our surroundings. The process of sculpting the found wood is lead by a profound connection with nature, taking form with a touch directed by a deeper force. 

Through a 50 year relationship with woodworking John has honed his craft to allow this organic touch yet retain the precision and fundamental foundations of traditional woodworking. While tuning into the guide within, John recruits the 15 design fundamentals defined by architect Christopher Alexander, elements of shape, texture, symmetry and scale that are present in all objects we perceive to have "life" and are subconsciously seen in all natural creations. By maintaining focus on these elements in his sculpting, John is seeking to create a unity between his work and the wholeness of the natural world and life within it. 

Aligned with this treatment of design are the rich traditions and teaching of Japanese principles; Wabi-Sabi (perfect imperfection), Shibui (subtle elegance), Ma (empty space), Yugen (profound grace) and Notan (dark and light contrast). John is sculpting to create moments of beauty inseparable from natural moments that surround us at all times.