Recently retired from UCSB, Allen is a multimedia artist who’s worked mainly as a painter and writer but has had several intense periods in her life of being a ceramicist. The latest incarnation of her ceramicist self occurred last year after a frightening fall down some stairs and before her last year of working as a literature and creative writing teacher at UCSB’s College of Creative Studies. She found her way to a ceramics studio and sensed that her mind and body needed to work in clay. Immediately her hands started producing figures of women and animals, sometimes separately, sometimes configured as a woman riding an animal. She became interested in sgraffito and the women and animal imagery, along with plants and bees, continued to appear. She sees it as a subconscious message to celebrate the creativity at the heart of nature, to get back to a primal state of oneness with animals and plants and mother earth. The work came before the interpretation though and viewers are welcome to see what occurs to them.