Allan is an artist and educator from NZ currently based in Ōtepoti. She received her BFA (Distinction) from Dunedin School of Art, where she is Principal Lecturer and Studio Coordinator in Photography. Her practice ranges from first-generation, wet darkroom processes to digital and hybridized liquid photography. Fascinated by the notions of the authentic and the replicant, her work investigates loss, the fetishisation of objects, animals and process. Her relationship with photography is sometimes complicated - hiding from mountain lions clutching her 1940s press camera, X-raying NZ's most critically endangered native wildlife, and developing tintypes in the basements of historic houses.
Allan exhibits both locally and internationally; including in Cambridge University, UK (2023/24, 2023 & 2022), The National Contemporary Art Award, Waikato Museum, NZ (2023 & 2022), Ashburton Art Gallery (2022), Amsterdam Int’l Art Fair (2019), Jarvis Dooney Galerie, Berlin (2018 & 2019), Tokyo Int’l Art Fair, Tokyo (2017 & 2018), Yu Gallery, Shanghai, China (2017), & DPAG (2016)
Allan’s photobooks can be found in the collections of The George Eastman Museum, USA, Reminders Photography Stronghold, Tokyo, Japan, The National Gallery of Australia, The Asia Pacific Book Archive, The Museum of NZ, Te Aka Matua Library, The National Library of NZ, The Alexander Turnbull Library, Auckland City Libraries, and the libraries of Auckland, Massey, Victoria, Canterbury, and Otago universities.
Mark Bolland writes about the exhibition and accompanying book: “Allan’s process in compiling this work some five years after the trip is characterized by the careful editing and re-editing of a sequence of images that evoke something between a holiday-gone-wrong and the kind of disaster tourism in which she would not ever engage. The images, and her accompanying writing, reveal the underlying concerns that brought about this new publication and exhibition - the appropriation and mistreatment of First Nations cultures, the poverty and the grubby tour-istification of the eponymous sublime spectacle. Most of all though, this dark work was prompted by the heartbreak of the fate of an Orca at the local Niagara Falls Marineland Zoo.”