Accomplished print maker Guy Allen (b.1987) grew up surrounded by Norfolk’s natural beauty. The theme of the animal world is central to Guy’s work and inspiration. His limited edition original etchings showcase his brilliant draftsmanship in a contemporary way.
Guy graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art in 2011, but discovered his passion for the traditional etching process while studying at the École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2010. In 2012 Guy trained as an assistant print maker at the highly respected Curwen Studios, Cambridge, under Mary Dalton and Stanley Jones, where he mastered other types of printmaking.
Today Guy works as a full time artist, splitting his week between his London and Norfolk studios, accompanied by trusty wire haired dachshund, Loaf.
To create his pieces, Guy marries the traditional technique of etching with timeless subject matter and print making processes, for a more contemporary twist. The stages involved in creating these original prints include etching, aquatint, screen print and lithography.
Guy has adopted a unique approach to etching by using a stippling effect on the plate, a labour intensive pointillist technique which gives the images a detailed finish and highlights his skill in freeform drawing and etching.
The horse racing world particularly inspires Guy – he delights in the technical skill required to capture horses’ musculature and movement. Most recently, one of Guy’s etchings, ‘Horse Study Blue’, was awarded runner up at the Society of Equestrian Artists Summer Exhibition at the National Heritage Centre for Horse Racing and Sporting Art in Newmarket.
Guy's work was exhibited in the prestigious Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition in 2013 and 2014, and shortlisted in 2016. He has exhibited internationally in Dubai and New York, and is popular at London's major art fairs including the Affordable Art Fair. His work is housed in private collections in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Guy is represented by a number of galleries throughout the UK and Europe.
KDLOVES X GUY ALLEN
How and why did the collaboration with Kelling Designs come about and how did the concept come together?
The medium of etching that I work in is very monochrome, and since following Kelling Design interiors palette getting more and more colourful, my urge to bring colour into my work was getting greater. After creating a new collection in 2019 for my Grandy Art solo show in London, I now had a foundation of work to add colour too, so approaching Kelling Designs was a must. We never looked back.
What has inspired the works in the collaboration?
Kelling designs use of colour through out their interiors collection inspired me to look into colour, working with the team at KD, we colour matched their iconic colours in ink for me to use on my etchings. From looking at the artworks in situ above the furniture, really show how Art & Interiors work in harmony together.
How long does each work take?
Referencing the Moon Butterflies with yellow as an example, the butterflies are all etched onto a single piece of copper plate 31 inch in diameter, this process involves hours and hours of engraving the subject using a sharp tool, with only one chance of getting it right so the composition of the individual butterflies is vital. From here I apply etching ink to the plate and then place a sheet of damp paper over the inked copper plate, then I run it through a very high pressured printing press that prints an impression of ink onto the paper. The final finishing touch is the diamond dust which is added through the process of screen printing, done at Jealous Studios in London.
The Moon Series, created while in isolation between March and June of this year. We had such amazingly clear spring skies, I became fascinated by the Moon. Away from the pressure of daily routine and commitments, I had time and space. It was so completely different, I suddenly had an opportunity to create a totally new piece of work, The Moon became my subject. Created in exactly the same process as the Moon Butterflies, though printing using white ink on black paper. And then finally the Swarovski crystals applied individually by hand after.