Allyson Mellberg Taylor‘s drawings are a reminder of the dangers posed by chemicals in our environment. Her characters, usually boys and girls, are often plagued by malign growths and mysterious infections and often unaware of the perilous state in which they exist – a shocking indictment of society’s lacksidasical approach to the misuse of the land through chemical abuse. This theme is in keeping with her rural Virginian life where she lives as she makes, using non – toxic homemade materials to create her work such as walnut, egg tempera and natural pigments on recycled paper.
What’s interesting about Taylor’s work is that her drawings are actually very sweet, old fashioned and you’d almost be excused for thinking they belong in a childrens book. It’s only when you look closer that you realise there is something more sinister at work – rashes and spots are not the normal fare of a childrens illustrator. It’s this juxtaposition that makes her drawings stand out.
Taylor has this to say about her drawings:
The spots started out as a visual way to represent pollutants; in my work it is endocrine disruptors, bacteria, spores, things that were entering our bodies, that have a permanent effect on them but cannot be seen. So the spots, sores, tumors are manifestations of all of this inert stuff welling up.
If you’re in Paris between now and the 13th October you can see Taylors new series of work called, ‘Endogenous’, at the Galerie LJ, 12 rue Commines FR-75003
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