British artist Liz Allen will unveil a new exhibition of paintings at the Santo António gallery in Monchique next month.
Entitled ‘Paintings by Liz Allen’ and due to run from March 7 to April 6, the exhibition will include more than 30 paintings from different eras going back as far as 2008.
The work will include paintings of and around Monchique, Lagos, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Aljezur, and Porto.
“Over the years, my work has revolved around the unspoilt countryside around Monchique more and more,” the artist says.
“Recently, it has often been about trees, but my latest painting ‘Village Houses near Monchique’ does indeed feature some houses. Set in the landscape with the hills rolling away in the background, this group of houses was damaged in the 2018 fires, and some became ruins. Evidently, some of these houses are still very much inhabited though,” she adds.
The gallery where the works will be displayed is open from Monday to Friday between 10am and 1pm and 2pm and 6pm. Admission is free.
According to the artist’s website, Liz Allen is from Sevenoaks, UK. She left her hometown at 19 to study at Bath Academy of Art, after which she moved to London. Though intending to continue with painting, the necessity of earning a living took hold and painting was shelved for 14 years. During this time, Liz worked for the Arts Council and South Bank Centre in London, which possibly fed her desire to become a full-time artist.
In 1994, Liz moved to Brighton from London, and tired of commuting to London, left the job and began painting again. The artist says that this was a slow process at first and her work from this early stage was mainly in monoprint and collage, inspired by travels to South America, India and Cuba.
In 2005, Liz moved from Brighton to Monchique, looking for a break from the materialism and stress of living in the UK. It was here that Liz’s painting style developed, aided by the quiet and remote location of her home studio, and the lack of distractions that seemed ever present in the UK.
Liz´s paintings are more recently based on her experience of being immersed in and surrounded by nature in her home deep in the countryside near Monchique. Trees and landscape play a prominent part in her paintings, particularly the Cork Oak and ubiquitous Eucalyptus.