“I’ve always enjoyed people watching. We are fascinating & quite weird creatures. Especially at night when people lose their inhibitions with alcohol & drugs... The idea of 'if these walls could talk'."
area : Sydney (originally Melbourne).
equipment: Print Press, Cutting Knives, Relief Ink, Paper.
"I think digital perfection is something I have always rejected. I loved working with letterpress; the misprints & the interesting textures. Mistakes in printmaking is exciting, a lot of the detail I create in the lino I can't see until the first artist proof"
Who was the first person (artist or otherwise) that inspired you to create, and who inspires you now?
(The Golden Mile)
Your work often deals with the objects of drunken nights and fleeting interactions, what attracts you to documenting night life?
“ I've always enjoyed people watching. We are fascinating and quite weird creatures. Especially at night when people lose their inhibitions with alcohoI and drugs. I love the hospitality scene and have always somehow worked within it. From a teenager working at pubs, to then meeting my husband (Anton Forte) who has opened many bars and restaurants. I got an insight into the industry."
Speaking of bars, you have been a crucial part of creating and branding cultural icons in Sydney such as Frankie's Pizza and The Baxter Inn, what does the process look like of creating a venue and it's aesthetic?
"Anton and his business partner Jason Scott usually get drunk together and think of a silly concept for a bar. Then Anton and I get pissed and think of the graphics and artwork. I think the most important part of a late night bar is the comfort factor. Who wants to be inebriated in a stark room, with white walls and bright lights flooding down? Turn the music up and the lights down."
"I disliked uni though, I felt the teachers were arrogant and unhelpful, they very much had a certain look they preferred. I hated graphic design by the time I finished. I have always experimented with as many mediums possible. Always drawing and painting, learning new techniques. I felt uni was a waste of time. The only helpful thing is the degree for your resume... I’ve used that twice"
If you could give your younger self advice for starting out, what would you say?
"I would tell her to have more confidence in her work. Make lots of friends. Socialse as much as you can with people involved in the industry. Introduce yourself to people you admire, you'll be surprised how willing they are to share their knowledge. Don't burn bridges! "
Allie's 'After Dark' exhibition is now on at China Heights Gallery Surry Hills. (August 12/13)