An Unearthly Child
September 10th – October 10th 2010
Opening Reception Friday September 10th 7-10pm
Allyson Mellberg’s works on paper are grounded in our relationship with the natural world, the mystical experiences we can have when we connect with it, and the injustices we continually cause in our wake. They warn us, teach us, and make us feel good to be living amongst amazing plants and animals. In this new body of work, more fantastical sci-fi elements creep into her world, creating wondrous parallels to our own.
The title, “An Unearthly Child”, is both an homage to one of Allyson’s earliest influences, the sci-fi television show Doctor Who, (“An Unearthly Child” is the name of the very first episode of the show from 1963) and an allusion to the characters in her drawings, who are generally skin-diseased, malformed, and sickly. Allyson’s “unearthly child” is a faceless, voiceless person who lives in the world but is not connected to anything around them.
Through her depiction of the grotesque, Allyson reveals its dichotomy by creating tender, beautiful moments with these tragically deformed creatures. In keeping with the themes in her work, she refuses to use chemicals in the making of her drawings and instead creates her own earthy palette by making pigments and inks from walnuts, egg, spinach and other natural ingredients. Not only is it ideologically and environmentally sound but Allyson is able to create a striking color palette that is wholly her own.