Briefly describe the work you do.
My work focuses on ecological consequences of industry and human interaction. I create aesthetically complex installations, drawings, and prints, to describe humanity’s negative influence on the natural world and the long-term effects thereby produced. I select the most effective medium to render my new subject, letting my intuition and physical constraints determine the choice. I draw decisively, keeping a tight hand and clean aesthetic in order to lend plausibility to my constructions.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I am from the Pacific Northwest, and grew up hiking, camping, and exploring the local mountains and Hoh Rainforest. These excursions from suburban to wild environments instilled a life-long passion for the natural world.
When studying printmaking, sculpture, and public art at university, I researched the use of nature-as-subject, environmentalism, and the role of artist-as-activist. My current practice expands upon these influences, exemplifying alternatives to ecological devastation and insights into humanity’s habits and dependencies. This function of our existence and the artistic method of understanding are linked to our place in nature; intrinsically primal, and encrypted deep into our psychology and identity.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
My relationship to the studio is fairly traditional and I spend a good portion of each week there. Drawing depends on my being seated at the angled-desk, and I make sculptural and 3D pieces on my painted, concrete floor, self-healing matt and bucket of tape at the ready.
I share a live-work space with my husband and fellow artist Pete Fleming in an artist-run building, and enjoy the support of being surrounded by like-minded people. With even a quick glance, you can see my newsprint sketches and models, in-progress works, plastic bins of supplies, and a good amount of spilled watercolors, dried into dark pools on my laminated tabletop. Having such a designated work space has been a huge part of my recent developments.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
There are many roles I have taken on that I didn’t envision as being part of my practice, and many that I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to do. I am thrilled to give lectures and presentations on a myriad of topics for both local art institutions and schools-it’s such a great way to connect with people. Teaching art and working with creative youth has been a real dream, while working as a panelist for exhibitions is an inspiring responsibility that offers behind-the-curtain insights.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
My life is a balance of studio, community-time, and day-job: too much time spent in either category tips my flow, but each offer time to make and time to engage in the conversations behind the work. Quiet weekends and evenings are productive times.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
Since 2010, my work has undergone some distinct changes. By taking queues from flora and fauna, sculptural materials, industrial mechanics and more, my visual language has expanded to become more expressive and open at each turn. I embrace intuition and abstraction as useful tools in which both I and my audience can ruminate over, pushing ideas to levels not found through my original, illustration-like works.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
I am inspired by my friends, family, and peers; the job of ‘artist’ can be undertaken in a myriad of ways and there is no one way to keep on the good pursuit. Knowing people here in Seattle and beyond who exceed their own goals, progress through their inhibitions, and stay open-minded influence me to continue on my own path and evolve. My family positively impacts my work through their support and inspiration: they work and get things done, and do good through their work.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
Art has been my primary focus from the beginning. I am greatly interested in earth sciences, ornithology, environmental conservation, and writing, but rather then create a ‘wish list’ of alternate realities, I incorporate these as part of my practice.
Allyce Wood is based in Seattle and a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts (magna cum laude) 2010 with a BFA in printmaking and sculpture. She studied environmental sculpture at Glasgow School of Art in 2009. Wood has been a member of SOIL Artist Run Gallery since 2012. Her work has been shown in cities such as Glasgow, Oslo, Oakland, New York, and Seattle.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.