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Our SAQA Visionaries - Lynne Allen 

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Inspired by Family History

My recent work has been inspired by my family history. My father was a pilot in the US Air Force. In 1955, when I was less than a year old, he simply disappeared. I grew up hearing stories about my father from family and friends - your father flew into the sun, the radar was out that day, your father is under the ground.

The emotions and feelings of being left behind were not discussed.

About 15 years ago, I opened a file sent to me by my aunt. It was information my grandmother had kept regarding my Dad and his disappearance. In it was the telegram sent to my grandparents, telling them my father's status had been changed from "missing" to "presumed dead". It was the beginning of a series of work dealing with loss.

This series of work has been cathartic, but has also been an opportunity to explore different techniques and styles. Some of it hangs on the wall; some of it is in the form of cloth mache figures.

I believe in sharing and in giving back - whether it is information, a recipe, good fortune, good times, bad times. In 2008 we moved to Austin, Texas and knew no one in the entire state. I learned about a SAQA group and drove an hour and a half to a home full of strangers who welcomed me in, spoke kindly to everyone there about their work, and accepted everyone regardless of their level of achievement in the world of art. 

Sometimes in life you have time, and can give that easily. Other times you have money. When you are truly in balance, you may have both. And for the world to be truly in balance, we need to find ways to communicate and to share - to recognize what is enough and what is more than our fair share. Some people call it karma, some people call it paying it forward - I believe that the more good you put out into the world, the better the world will be. We can use the extras in our lives to make other lives better. 

Lynne Allen
Durham, Connecticut

 

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