"Allison Kunath’s work is fuelled by the tension between her thirst for solitude and hunger for connection. Creating self-reflective work that explores communication and various forms of connection, Kunath says 'Relationship is my greatest teacher,' and it is also her greatest inspiration. Examining her relationship to herself, her community, and her environment, she makes works that are meditative responses to those connections."
◇ Allison Kunath is currently located in Nicaragua ◇
◇ Her studio works are primarily on paper and canvas, and her murals can be found in the US, Mexico, Panama and Nicaragua. ◇
⇝ Her art is available on her website here ⇜
How did your artistic medium find you?
I've been drawn to art making my entire life. Some of my earliest memories are at the kitchen table pushing paint around with one of my parents. In my teenage years, art became a valuable processing tool. Recently I was flipping through the first sketch book I ever filled, cover to cover. I was in the sixth grade and there's all sorts of drawings and poems about love and loneliness, longing, and heartbreak. Of course it's all dramatic puppy love stuff - yet it's kind of amazing to see some of my early experiences processed on a page. As an adult, my creative practice has been an important part of strengthening my relationship to myself, but finding that sketchbook made it clear that art has always played that role.
What has been the biggest inspiration for you to continue pursuing art?
On the good days - I paint because I enjoy the process. I make art because it's one of the best ways I know how to celebrate being alive on this tiny speck of paradise dust rocketing through space. On the days that I need a little more encouragement, I paint because I need to... it's directly linked to my sense of purpose. In short, I believe I am here to understand myself and to find ways to be as fully expressed as possible. If that sets off 'self centered' alarms in your head, you're spot on. I believe it's absolutely necessary to be self centered first in the name of more meaningful connections with others. Starting with my relationship to myself I'm practicing honesty, clear communication and compassion. The deeper my art takes me in my self work, the easier it is for me to go deep with other people. Being a part of a self more aware world, that is liberated and truly connected is what keeps me going.
What inspires you and your creations?
I guess the short answer is: introspection. My work is a meditative response to the things that are going on inside me, and my relationships. Some weeks I'm really moved by music, or flavor, or the experience of human touch. Some weeks I'm inspired by finding abstractions for the pleasures and pains of solitude. Sometimes my focus is on the tension and release of a conversation that surfaces a truth that's never been given words before.
Allison's perspective on the Creative process:
The creative process for me is a bit like fishing with a big net. I cast it out wide with an idea in mind, and when I pull it in, I have a bunch of different things to sort through. There are things that feel like kelp and seaweed tangled in the net (those bits are written notes, they help me get clear on how I'm actually feeling before I start making marks). There's some small fish (pencil and ink sketches, roughing out my various thoughts). Medium sized fish look like small canvas studies and watercolor paintings. And every now and then, there's a real keeper in the mix - a big fish. A culmination of all the ideas preceding it - something only achieved through the entire process. I go out fishing everyday. Some days I come up with only seaweed, but I always learn a little more about the sea.