Paper Grottos | LUX Center for the Arts | Art Gallery, Classes, Summer Camps & Outreach

Paper Grottos

Paper Grottos

02/03/2023 - 5:00pm
February 3rd, 2023 to April 8th, 2023
Exhibition Description

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LUX Center for the Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Kristine Allphin titled Paper Grottos, on view from February 3 – April 8, 2023.  

Kristine Allphin works with the traditional batik process, uniquely adapted for application on paper. Batik is a technique of wax-resist dying most widely recognized for being applied to cloth but can also be used to embellish various types of textiles, paper, wood, leather or other natural materials. It is an ancient cultural practice originating from Indonesia, and more precisely from the largest and most populous island of Java. It was considered a very spiritual medium that reflected prayers and teachings, often reserved for priestcraft. The ancient Javanese motifs were also symbolic forms of communication or used to denote social stratification. In 2009, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially recognized batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity from Indonesia.   

The traditional batik process is complicated and very time-consuming. A foundational material is immersed in a dye bath and wax is applied to preserve the color and create the initial motif or image. This process is repeated many times over, creating color variations and details that are initially unplanned. As the layering process continues, the colors transform, and the original image is hidden under the opaque wax. The process requires a developed visual memory. Allphin believes the retention of images and imagination are inextricably linked and the ability to visually manifest through imaginative thought is a human skill, not just reserved for artists. In the final step of the process, the wax is removed revealing the finished work. A thorough understanding of color theory is required for this technique and the results are the unique color variations found in Allphin’s work. It takes patience, trust and faith in the process and yielding to the outcome. Allphin sees the experience working with batik akin to the unknown chance inherent in life itself. Although batik is a challenging medium, Allphin's goal and purpose as an artist are to push its limits. She utilizes her knowledge of illustration, design and experimentation with non-traditional batik materials to produce the complex imagery. 

Allphin brings an original style, sensibility and craftsmanship to her batik work. The title Paper Grottos emphasizes the unexpected use of paper, Allphin’s preferred medium of choice. She finds inspiration in the always shifting, changing seasons, native grasses and vast prairie landscapes. The long and repetitive process becomes a form of meditation. The results are lush secret gardens, meadows and clearings that are made otherworldly from the unpredictable colors they unveil. These environments created in a meditative space by the artist, in turn draw the viewer into a peaceful and contemplative place.  

Allphin attended the illustration and graphic design program at Southeast Community College and worked for many years as an illustrator and designer for creative agencies and manufacturing companies. She had always been fascinated with the batik process and eventually sought to apply what she knew in the commercial arts to the ancient process. She had the good fortune to meet, learn from and develop a friendship with Katalin Ehling, one of the most prolific batik artists of the 70's and 80's. She has been developing her current practice and technique for many years through a process of trial and error. 
Kristine Allphin has won numerous awards and has participated in many group and solo exhibitions. Most recently she has won Best of Show at Studio K Art Gallery in Grand Island, Nebraska, the Wings Over the Platte Merit Award for Artist Unanchored Collaboration given by the Stuhr Museum, and in 2016 was featured in Western Art and Architecture Magazine as an emerging artist to watch. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska, the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island Nebraska, and the Longwell Art Museum in Neosho, Missouri. Her work has appeared in Hollywood films, and she has been accessioned into corporate collections including National Indemnity Insurance, Lincoln Financial Group and Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital. Her works can be found in private collections all over the world including the US, Canada and Sri Lanka. Allphin currently lives and works in Hastings, Nebraska. This is her first solo exhibition at the LUX center for the Arts.    

Print / Paper

Upcoming Exhibits

Barbara Greving
10/6/23 to 11/25/23
11/3/23 to 12/29/23
Multiple Mediums
12/1/23 to 1/27/24
Lincoln Artists Guild
1/5/24 to 1/31/24

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