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Jane Ingram Allen, "Blue River", biodegradable blue handmade paper pulp containing blue flower seeds, Taipei, Taiwan, Earth Day 2004.

Jane Ingram Allen

Originally from Alabama, Jane Ingram Allen has specialized in decomposable indoor and outdoor mixed media installations using handmade paper, found natural materials and native seeds. Her multi-part structures invite participation from visitors, schoolchildren, wildlife and the weather and are designed for museums, parks and unconventional sites throughout the USA, Japan, Philippines and Taiwan.

Jane Ingram Allen often works with artists, her son Chris Allen - a jazz composer and trombonist, and volunteers of all ages to create her site-specific installations. She often combines these with workshops to teach participants how to make handmade paper using locally available plant materials. Public projects have involved placing colorful bird sculptures representing a wide variety of species made from handmade paper pulp for temporary art installations along buildings in downtown Schenectady, NY and other locations.

Other projects such as "Disappearing Boundary" (1996) consisted of a fence made of fallen branches and handmade paper with wildflower seeds in it. The paper components were designed to dissolve in the rain over time, dropping seeds along a plowed line of earth beneath the fence structure. "The line of wildflowers that emerges will also gradually disappear as they merge with the existing vegetation. The wildflowers ... will nourish birds, butterflies and bees, and the decomposing branches and handmade paper will act as mulch."

Comfortable with the fact that "nothing could ever be considered a 'permanent' work of art", Jane Ingram Allen creates unique, participative installations which "go with this flow" and consciously use "the natural processes and human and animal interaction as a positive contribution to the artwork ... and to the environment."


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