Katie Allen was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1967, but moved to Swansea at a young age. She studied Fine Art Painting at the University of Bath and obtained a PGCE in Art and Design from the University of Cardiff in 1996. Since 2006, Katie has been painting full time, and has been based in Swansea, Wales.
Katie centres her work primarily on the landscapes of her beloved South Wales, and their changing seasons and shades, which she renders through rich patterns, forms and colours. When viewed as a whole, her paintings are of recognisable landscapes and natural forms – trees and plants, insects and birds – but on closer inspection they disclose detailed abstract patterns composed of intricate designs and subtle colour harmonies.
Katie’s new paintings have been greatly influenced by a recent trip to India; she was inspired by India’s vast palaces decorated with beautiful intricate patterns composed of gemstones and mirrors, by the delicate miniature paintings and richly coloured textiles. Her paintings explore the play of scale from macro to micro and the movement between representational and abstract. They are enjoyed on different levels, with the viewer constantly finding new areas to explore and be drawn into. The rich colours and interplay of harmonies at once reflect the soothing landscapes on which they are based, and at the same time recall the vibrant energy of nature, creating a delicious tension between tranquillity and excitement, serenity and stimulation.
Katie has exhibited widely and successfully across the UK, Europe and the States. The joyous nature of her art granted her a large and significant commission by the Morrison Hospital in Swansea, which entailed the creation of a series of painting to be displayed in the Hospital’s New Outpatients Building. The paintings of Shore, Moorland, Woodland and Sky were photographically reproduced and enlarged to a scale to fill walls of the building which has been open to the public since 2006. They are used throughout the building to enhance the environment for visitors and staff and to act as way finders. Alongside the paintings, Katie designed a stained glass panel to go in the Outpatients Building dedicated to Organ Donors and their families.