nz art and crafts gallery


John Allen NZ Wood Sculptor
Mindfulness Exhibition
May 13 - June 3 Opening Saturday May 13 at 3pm

Hi, I’m John. I’m a Kiwi, born in Auckland, with English, Irish and Samoan ancestry. 
There’s always been something magical for me about weathered wood – I’ve been collecting it from beaches for decades. When I discovered that the gnarlier it is the more beautiful the twists of it's grain can be, I started using it in sculpture. I’ve been working wood for more than 50 years but it wasn’t until recently that it has taken centre stage in my arts practice.
For a long time I felt there was something illusive driving me forward in my work. I felt as though I was on the trail of something in various jobs however, eventually,
I encountered a deep restlessness. Now, with the focus on my inner journey and making sculpture full time, that restlessness has gone.
I make sculpture as an expression of the inner necessity I feel bubbling up inside. It comes out of me somewhere deep down and it’s always about making something very specific out of wood. Then, when I sit back and notice what’s emerging, I see that it coincides with a leading edge in my inner journey. 
My sculpture practice is about mindfulness i.e. being mindful is my process. It is about noticing what’s arising, simply being with whatever that is without judgment and following it's lead from a place of not-knowing, so that I can express what I need to express as cleanly as I can.
I am inspired by American architect Christopher Alexander’s approach to creating wholeness and life within art and architecture. I use his ideas as lenses through which to view my work, to help focus on creating wholeness and life. A construction method I use has been inspired by Alexander too. I call it “uniting individuality” which is a purposeful not-sameness where parts similar in character are each imperfect in their own way yet perfectly suited to their place.
Japanese design aesthetics really appeal to me, wabi-sabi in particular. Through natural imperfection and ageing, for me it brings forward the sense of suffering and transience I feel is part of life. 
But most of all I’m inspired by the wood itself; seeing it's rawness hewn by nature, feeling it and it's history, shaping it, watching amazing patterns of glowing grain appear, and feeling how smooth I can make it – so smooth it’s soft. Finding a magical piece on the beach is always exciting for me.
I have studied woodworking, art history, business and psychology. I enjoy reading Joseph Campbell, Karl Jung, and integral philosophy. I’m also a keen surfer.
John Allen nz wood sculptor, pohutukawa
"Shadow and Grace" Pohutukawa root
Size: 100cm by 70cm ENQUIRE NOW

John Allen, NZ wood sculpting and carving
John Allen nz wood sculptor, Deodar
Facets of Unity Wall-mounted sculpture
Pohutukawa Wood, internal LED lighting, 110cm diameter
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Exclamation Mark
Deodar Cedar, Osmo Oil 180cm tall
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John Allen nz wood sculpting and carving
John Allen nz wood sculptor
Duality and Singularity Wall-mounted sculpture
Planetree Wood, Saligna, Danish Oil,
Size: 80cm diameter
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Fire and Resolve Wall-mounted sculpture
Swamp Cedar, Pohutukawa, Danish Oil,
Size: 38cm x 32cm x 12cm
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john allen nz wood sculptor
John Allen nz wood sculptor, puriri
Ampoule Table-top sculpture
Puriri, teak oil, river stone base
Size: 82cm x 70cm x 40cm
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Passage of Time Free standing sculpture
Puriri Wood, Danish Oil,
Size: 45cm x 40cm x 22cm
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John Allen nz wood sculptor, swamp totara
John Allen nz wood work and art
Pattern of Being Wall-mounted sculpture
Swamp Totara, Danish Oil, copper
Size: 88cm diamter
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Attention (Front and Reverse) Free standing sculpture
Puriri Wood, Danish Oil, steel
Size: 17.6cm x 30cm x 30cm
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John Allen nz wood sculptor and artist
John Allen nz wood sculptor, mandala
The I of the Storm Orb on a stand
Puriri, Danish oil, saligna,
Size: 57cm diamter, 142cm tall
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Mandala 1 Wall-mounted sculpture
Recycled Kauri, Teak oil, internal LED lighting,
Size: 50cm square
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John Allen nz wood sculptor, question mark, pohutukawa
John Allen nz wood sculptor, fire
Question Mark
Pohutukawa, Teak oil, LED lights
Size: 77cm x 31cm
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Red beech, grapefruit, leatherwood, bamboo, Danish oil
Size: 48cm x 41cm x 16cm
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