Jess Allen (b. 1966 in Dorset) is a British painter who lives and works in Cornwall, UK. After completing her Foundation Course at Camberwell in London, she graduated with a Degree in Fine Art from Falmouth School of Art in 1988.
In her work, Allen explores how time and memory can be held or symbolised in everyday moments and subjects. Images often contain books and other domestic objects, such as chairs, sofas, and bookcases. Human shadows inhabit interior spaces, sometimes falling across objects, and themes of absence and presence are also suggested. Her paintings have an uncanny ability to inspire reflection on the feeling of a past moment in time, and like photos, they act as a form of memorabilia. Although predominately personal, they have a power of connection which suggest shared feelings of familiarity.
Allen’s inspirations include Giorgio Morandi, Avigdor Arikha, William Nicholson, as well as David Hockney, Edward Hopper, Vilhelm Hammershöi, and Johannes Vermeer.
Her works have been the focus of solo exhibitions such as ‘Like Dust, The Shadows Remain’ at Scroll.NYC (New York, 2023), ‘Nobody’s Watching’ (2022) and ‘Books from Boxes’ (2021)at Blue Shop Cottage Gallery (London), as well as 'Collections', at Badcocks Gallery (Newlyn, 2005). She has also participated in group exhibitions including ‘Ten: The First Decade’ at Unit London (London, 2023), ‘Forget-Me-Nots’ at The Split Gallery (London, 2023), ‘The Angel in the House’ at Studio West Gallery (London, 2023), ‘Untold Stories’ at G/Art/En Gallery (Como, 2023), ‘Multiple Refraction – The Ghost of Modernism’ at Cubism Art Space (Shanghai, 2023),‘Four’ at Morgans Gallery (Falmouth, 2022), ‘A Room of Her Own’ at Irving Contemporary (Oxford, 2022), ‘Habitat’ at Contemporary Six Gallery (Manchester, 2022), and ‘Postcards’ at Magnus Karlsson Gallery (Stockholm, 2021).
Allen was awarded the Parker Harris Mentoring Award for the Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London in 2021. She is also the recipient of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers Award and the Six Counties Prize.
Her work is held in many private collections around the world, including the UK, the United States, the UAE, Bahrain, Japan, Singapore, and Europe.