Erika NJ Allen’s work visualizes her consumption of tropical fruits since childhood and how that diet functions as a vehicle to study the intersection of world history, economics, politics, mental and physical health, and art. Using ceramics, fresh produce, and analog photography as vehicles, Allen seeks to engage life and death. As she continues to find ways in which clay and fruit can live together – just like a body lives with an implanted object – her journey to improve the human condition through art will go on. Each work of art visualizes Allen’s diet which plays a key role in her healing, both mentally and physically, while attempting to convey a feeling of resilience. The process of the ‘making’ has become therapeutic, allowing for vulnerabilities to become known and easy to share with the goal to encourage others to open to their own challenges and resilience.
Erika NJ Allen is a Guatemalan-born artist who earned her BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.