I have been busy in Uvita, Costa Rica, during the second week of my art-in-residency at Le Diamant Vert with host Marie M’Ayala Saurat, choreographer and dance originally from France. I have cooked up and made pup from four local plants: Banana leaves, Corn husks, Shell Ginger leaves, and Red Hibiscus bark. I have succeeded in finding caustic soda (Sodium hydroxide) at the Uvita supermarket in the cleaning aisle and used for unstopping drains. I am trying it today and cooking some bark from an at present unknown tree that looks and acts a lot like mulberry or at least in the Moracae family, that is one of the best plant families for making handmade paper. I hope it turns out to be a good paper source as this tree is in Marie’s backyard and I also saw it in a vacant lot near the creek across from Marie’s place. Here is a photo of a leaf from this tree. I’m going to try and contact a local nursery to get some more information about this tree. It does appear to have green mulberry looking fruits on it too.
I’m also continuing to make paper with all four pulps mixed together now and also adding in some blue jean sheet pulp and abaca and Japanese kozo I brought with me in the suitcase.
Here are a few photos of some of the paper I have made in Costa Rica.
I am an artist-in-residency now in Uvita, Costa Rica, at le Diamante Vert (the Green Diamond) hosted by Marie M’Ayala Saurat, a dancer/choreographer originally from France but now settled in Costa Rica to make a place for artists and creative people to experience the beautiful nature and culture of Costa Rica. Marie also offers classes in yoga and natural healing as well as creating original dance and videos and other art. For more about Marie and her work see her website at https://cieartevivi.wixsite.com/accueil/marie-saurat
During this artist-in-residency I will be using natural materials from Costa Rica for my work with handmade paper and creating mixed media eco art installations. I will also collaborate with Marie to make some props, costumes and an installation of handmade paper to be used in an outdoor dance performance that Marie will present next year in Havana, Cuba, at a performance art festival. This work will also be used for Marie’s performances at other festivals in different countries around the world, so it has to be easily portable. I am committed to using natural materials with nature as a partner and eventually the work will return to the earth as mulch. Our focus in this collaborative project is water, and I will be making many shades of blue and natural colored paper. The blue pulp is cotton fiber colored with indigo a natural plant dye used all over the world. I will also be using other natural fiber plant materials and perhaps some other plant dyes I find from Costa Rica. I also plan to use natural fiber string to connect the handmade paper and make flexible suspended panels, referencing rain, waves and waterfalls.
Costa Rica is warm and tropical with many interesting plants and fruits to try. The local farmer’s market is fantastic. There is also a beautiful waterfall near here that we will go to see. Every day Marie collects leaves, flowers, seed pods, strange fruits and other natural materials from Costa Rica and brings them to me for sharing and inspiration. Today I will incorporate some natural weaving from the many coconut trees growing nearby and use it in some of my handmade paper. I have also eaten some coconut meat and drank coconut milk directly from a coconut growing here at Marie’s place. There are also many banana trees here, and I gathered some Costa Rica banana leaves to make handmade paper. I used ones that were drying so as not to damage the plants. This photo shows me taking the leaves off the long stem and tearing them up to put in the cooking pot. The photos are all taken by my husband Timothy S. Allen (allentimphotos2.wordpress.com) who is here with me in Costa Rica to document this project and also take his own photos of Costa Rica birds and other things that catch his eye.
I have collected banana leaves growing near Marie’s house and cooked them and prepared by hand for making paper. The leaves are very strong, and I cooked them all day (maybe 6-8 hours) in 12 tbs. of soda ash. Then I rinsed the cooked leaves and beat the plant material with a wooden hammer. Then the fibers were cut with scissors and put into my electric blender for a few minutes to make the pulp. I formed the sheets using a modified Japanese technique on a Western style mold and deckle. The size was 4 x 6 inches as I only finished beating a small amount so I could quickly try it! The finished and dried banana leaf paper from Costa Rica is interesting paper that has high shrinkage creating a sculptural form naturally as it dries. The color is a rich brown and the texture grainy. For some later sheets of banana leaf paper I added a little Abaca (a sheet pulp I brought in my suitcase that is from Musa textilis – also in the banana family), and this mixture of pulp made paper that is stronger and easier to work with but still having some nice color and texture from the Costa Rica banana leaves.
Today, I will be finishing the processing of shell ginger leaves that are also growing outside Marie’s house in Uvita. I have used this plant before and know it makes a good rich brown colored paper. The flowers of this plant are beautiful and a shell pink color. I will keep posting my other experiments with papermaking from plants of Costa Rica. Uvita is in the Pacific Coastal tropical forest in the south of Costa Rica and famous for whale watching and the great beach that is in the shape of a whale’s tail. Maybe my husband Tim and I will go on a whale watching boat tour this weekend.
This photo shows the garden at Marie’s house where I have set up a table with a hot plate for cooking gathered plant materials outdoors. One end of the table is also used for the hand beating of the cooked and washed fibers. In the background you can see some of the many red hibiscus bushes growing around Marie’s place. I also plan to use some bark from the hibiscus bush to make handmade paper. I know hibiscus family plants make paper, and I have used many different hibiscus bark fibers in other countries.
I will continue to post weekly, or maybe more, updates about my residency in Costa Rica. Email me at email@example.com if you want more information about this residency.
“Living Leaf” by Jane Ingram Allen, installed Nov. 30, 2023 at Pepperwood Preserve in front of Dwight Center, Santa Rosa, CA, Handmade paper pulp, dye, seeds for native grasses and wildflowers, 12 feet x 3 feet, to grow and change over time into a Pepperwood tree shaped leaf of native grasses (California Fescue, Purple Needs Grass, Blue Wild Rye and Silver Lupine). Photo by Timothy S. Allen.
“Living Leaves” by Jane Ingram Allen, installed Nov. 29, 2022, at Pepperwood Preserve Art Gallery, Dwight Center, Santa Rosa, CA. 100 units each 12″ x 4″, handmade paper pulp, dye, thread, seeds for native grasses and wildflowers, to be planted outdoors after the indoor installation. Photo by Timothy S. Allenandmad
For more information about Pepperwood Preserve, http://www.pepperwoodpreserve.org The exhibition in the Pepperwood Preserve Art Gallery continues through March 2023, and the outdoor Living Leaf is on display indefinitely and will continue to change working with nature to produce a living artwork. This link provides more info and photos of the Art Surround project at Pepperwood Preserve: https://www.pepperwoodpreserve.org/artsurround-project/
This art project at Pepperwood Preserve is part of the Art Surround Program of Creative Sonoma (www.creativesonoma.org).
Jane’s exhibition at the Tides Converge Gallery, the Presidio, San Francisco, CA, also continues through March 2023. This indoor gallery installation consists of 30 panels of handmade paper and printmaking and is a collaborative project with printmaker Jami Taback. For more information about the Tides see the website at https://www.presidio.gov/places/tides-converge
“In Deep Water – Turning the Tide”, by Jane Ingram Allen and Jami Taback, installed Nov. 13, 2022, at Tides Converge Gallery, the Presidio, San Francisco, 30 panels of handmade paper, thread, printmaking and collage, each panel, 2 feet x 10 feet, on view through March 2023 during gallery hours, M-F, 9am to 5pm.
The installation by collaborating artists Jane Ingram Allen and Jami Taback is shown here in progress. The installation in the China Brotsky Gallery at the Tides includes 30 panels of handmade paper and thread with printmaking and papermaking images as well as tearing, burning and collage elements. The gallery has large windows to offer natural light coming through the translucent panels and contributing shadows as the sunlight changes during the day. The exhibition also includes several smaller works from the In Deep Water Project in the Seed Gallery at The Tides Converge Gallery. The exhibition remains on view in the Presidio through March 2023 and is open Mon. – Fri. 9am to 5pm. For more information about the gallery see the website at https://www.presidio.gov/places/tides-converge
Here are some of the upcoming art activities and exhibitions I am participating in during the coming months.
Exhibition: In Deep Water – Rising at Gallery Route One Project Space, Pt. Reyes Station, CA.http://www.galleryrouteone.org/exhibitions This exhibition Oct. 8 – Nov. 13, 2022, features the collaborative work of Jane Ingram Allen and Jami Taback about water and the climate crisis. The show closes on Nov. 13, and there will be and artists talk at 4pm that day.
Exhibition: “Bountiful Harvest”, at Iowa Center for the Book, Iowa City, IA.https://uicb.uiowa.edu This exhibition includes one of Jane’s Taiwan Site Maps, made with materials harvested in Taiwan. The group show Oct. 31 – Nov. 14, 2022, features artworks by selected members of International Association of Paper Making Artists (IAPMA) with a variety of artworks utilizing handmade paper and paper mulberry fibers and celebrating the concept of harvest.
Exhibition: “Off the Grid: Contemporary Fiber Art” at Yolo Arts Barn Gallery, Woodland, CA. This group exhibition includes two of Jane’s recent fiber art works, Daily Scrolls and No More Guns. The show runs from Nov. 10, 2022- to March 15, 2023. https://yoloarts.org/the-barn-gallery/
Exhibition: “In Deep Water – Turning the Tide” at The Tides Converge Gallery, San Francisco, CA. This exhibition features a new site specific installation of the collaborative work of Jane Ingram Allen and Jami Taback. The show opens with a reception 5-7 pm and artists talk at 5:30 pm. The gallery is located at the Presidio in SF (https://www.presidio.gov/places/tides-converge), and this exhibition is open during office hours 9 – 5 M-F until March 15, 2023.
Workshop: Papermaking from Scratch with Local Plants at Fibershed Learning Center, Pt. Reyes Station, CA. Jane will lead participants through the entire process of making paper from local plant materials, from gathering plants to finished paper, in this two day workshop on Nov. 19 – 20, 2022. Enroll here:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/399100218497
Exhibition: Living Leaves for Pepperwood Preserve at Pepperwood Preserve, Santa Rosa, CA. Jane received a grant from Creative Sonoma ArtSurround Program (www.creativesonoma.org) to create a site-specific installation at Pepperwood Preserve, a large nature preserve in Santa Rosa dedicated to land and environmental preservation. Jane’s project includes a large outdoor installation “Living Leaf for Pepperwood Preserve” sited in front of the Dwight Center and an indoor installation “Falling Leaves” in the Dwight Center Gallery. The exhibition opens with a reception on Dec. 1, 2022 and runs through March 30, 2023 and is open to the public – http://www.pepperwoodpreserve.org
Residency: Diamante Verte, Uvita, Costa Rica. Jane has been awarded a 6-week artist-in-residency in Costa Rica from Jan. 4 – Feb. 13, 2023. During the residency Jane will use local plants of Costa Rica to create a new series of handmade paper artworks and collaborate with choreographer Marie M’Alaya Saurat ( https://cieartevivi.wixsite.com/mariemalaya) who directs this artist-in-residency program in Uveta, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
Here is the link to the video made by Shelley Rugg for the Artists Talks at Gallery Route One, Point Reyes Station, CA: https://youtu.be/r8N_HNwqZuA First is the talk by Zea Morvitz and then the gallery walk-through with Jane Ingram Allen and Jami Taback.
This site-specific installation of In Deep Water – Rising, will be on view at this northern CA non-profit gallery in their project space through Nov. 13, 2022. The work by collaborating artists Jane Ingram Allen and Jami Taback utilizes hand papermaking and printmaking and focuses on water and climate change.
“In Deep Water – Rising” an installation about water and climate change utilizing hand papermaking and printmaking by artists Jane Ingram Allen and Jami Taback opens Saturday, Oct. 8, 3-5pm, at Gallery Route One, Point Reyes Station, CA. There will be Artists Talks in the gallery at 3pm. The exhibition remains on view at Gallery Route One’s Project Space through Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. There will also be closing remarks by the artists at 4pm on Sunday, Nov. 13. Gallery Route One is open 11am to 5pm, Thursday through Monday.
Here’s a photo of the installation at Gallery Route One, Pt. Reyes Station, CA, taken after installing on Oct. 5.
Jane Ingram Allen and Jami Taback, In Deep Water – Rising, 2022, Gallery Route One, view, mixed media installation, hand papermaking, printmaking, thread, burning, multiple suspended panels, each about 1-2 feet wide and 8-10 feet long.
Jane Ingram Allen will be an invited speaker at the 2022 TransCultural Exchange Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts titled “Create the Future”. Jane’s presentation for the conference is called “The Road Less Traveled – Lesser Known Opportunities for Artists” and includes one session on Funding and Grants and another session on Residencies and Exhibition Opportunities. Jane will be speaking at this biennial conference for the third time, and highly recommends it for networking and meeting in person many artists, curators, administrators and others from around the world who are interested in international art opportunities. There’s nothing like meeting people in person to promote your work and learn what opportunities might fit best. The conference will be in Boston, MA, from Nov. 4-6, 2022, and is held at various colleges and museums in Boston. For more information and to register for this conference, visit the website at https://transculturalexchange.org
This past week I was teaching two workshops at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology in Otis, Oregon, and had an opportunity to visit my art project done last year “Living Quilt for Nestucca Valley” created with students in the Summer Youth Art Program of the Sitka Center in cooperation with the K-12 School and students from the Nestucca Valley school district. I was the Guest Artist for this program and worked at the school for two weeks in August 2021, with the students to create and install this work before going back to my home in Santa Rosa, CA.
It is great to see how this “quilt” has changed over time and to see so many wildflowers that were in the handmade paper quilt blocks still blooming! The photos below were taken by my husband Timothy S. Allen when we visited the Nestucca Vally School and viewed the art installation in the school garden on Monday, August 8, 2022.
The Living Quilt for Nestucca Valley was installed on August 13, 2021. I have also attached one photo below of the quilt when it was first installed with the handmade paper quilt blocks each having seeds in the paper pulp in the same colors and patterns in the design of fish, waves and trees. Hopefully the wildflower seeds will disperse again this Fall and come back in the Spring of 2023 with more blooms. For more about the Living Quilt for Nestucca Valley, see this link to an article from Sept. 2021, in ART NEWS: https://www.artnews.com/art-news/artists/jane-ingram-allen-living-quilts-1234603170/
Summer art activities include making handmade paper outdoors on my patio and assembling things indoors in my garage studio in Santa Rosa, CA, for upcoming exhibitions and public art projects.
I have been selected for Sonoma Creates Art Surround (https://www.creativesonoma.org/artsurround/) a new public art program that will partner artists with organizations in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, CA, to create new site-specific artworks in public spaces working with the community. The project offers grants of $1000 to $10,000 to each of the selected artists to do one or more public art projects during the months of July to December of 2022. I should know in a few weeks what organizations I will be working with and where my installations will be sited. I hope to do more eco art installations with handmade paper and seeds in the pulp to change over time and work in harmony with nature. Here is a photos of my installation last year in Steckborn, Switzerland, titled “Living Quilt for Steckborn”.
Check back here soon for updates about the art installations I will be doing in Santa Rosa, California, and Sonoma County, California during the coming months.
Summer Workshops with Jane Ingram Allen in Oregon
Jane’s “Papermaking Around the World” workshops this summer at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology are both full. One session will be August 7 and 8, and another session will be August 9 and 10 at Sitka Center in Otis, Oregon, on the beautiful central Oregon coast. For more information about the programs at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, see the website at http://www.sitkacenter.org
During these “Papermaking Around the World” workshops participants will be learning to make handmade paper using materials, equipment and techniques from countries around the world, such as Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Tanzania, Indonesia, Brazil, Nepal and Turkey…all countries where Jane has been an artist in residence. Jane will be teaching more papermaking art workshops in her Santa Rosa, CA, studio during the Fall of 2022. Email her to be put on the email list for workshops and classes in hand papermaking: info@janeingramallen
Continuing work on Collaborative Art Project “In Deep Water“
Jane is continuing to work with printmaker Jami Taback on their “In Deep Water” Project. The installation of “In Deep Water” at Rowan University, Discovery Hall, Glassboro, NJ, is coming down at the end of August 2022. Here is a photo of one part of the multiple panels being created for this installation. Jane and Jami will be creating more handmade paper and printmaking panels for this ongoing installation art project about climate change and water.
The next exhibition of “In Deep Water” will be Oct. 8 – Nov. 10, 2022, at Gallery Route One Project Space, Point Reyes Station, CA. http://www.galleryrouteone.org