University of Brighton, MA Fine Art 2006 – 2008

University of Brighton, BA Hons Fine Art 1992 – 1995


With her background in Painting, London born artist, Oya Allen, often takes an interdisciplinary approach in her practice. Past projects have manifested through the archival medium, investigating ideas that are underscored by a psychoanalytic enquiry into memory, mourning and place. Sometimes utilising the museum as a mode for display, Allen has reconsidered the conceptualisation of the archive as a hierarchical framework for the organisation and display of objects, extending it to one that is decentralised and which considers and frames personal processes and relations of human encounters. In referencing and challenging notions of imperialism and colonialism, her intention has been to investigate the role of subjectivity in sociocultural and historical formations.


More recently, Allen has carried forward various strands of enquiry that emanate from her ‘archaeology of loss’ to rethink the significance of previous ‘excavations’ within a new framework that is underpinned by Five Elements theory, which she draws on from her knowledge of and practice in Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine. Revisiting ideas that centre on haptic knowledge, she recognises earlier observations as premonitions of her recent exploration into energy work/ medicine and by extension, metaphysics. In her new work, motifs are dug up, composites are pieced together and ‘energetic landscapes’ are uncovered.