Meet spirit artist and art prize finalist Allen Moore o2o

We meet Allen Moore o2o, the artist behind The Connection and the Judge's Favourite pencil portrait that he has kindly donated to the College archive.

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

Not only did Allen Moore's The Connection make it to the finals of this year's Inspiration from Isolation art competition, his pencil portrait was selected as a judges' favourite. Here, Allen shares about his extraordinary journey, what inspires him and his advice for aspiring spirit artists... 

When did you first discover your passion for creating art?

"For myself, creativity and art was a huge part of my childhood. I can remember being known for my creative skills in primary school. I have all my school reports that used to state the same thing each year, "Allen is a quiet young man. He spends his days staring out the window daydreaming and producing artworks which he has a great technique understanding". In high school, I was advised to attend night art classes. It wasn't until I returned to university at the age of 30, It was discovered that I had one of the worst dyslexia levels the doctor had seen, he told me that I had used my mind in a way that had developed my artistic skills, and blocked the frustration of not understanding literacy. 

My process from primary school has been Automatism. I have developed this process into my own unique way over the last eight years. I draw or continue with a painting each day, There are times I will leave a work for months and through a dream or an experience I will see its development and I continue. My materials are currently (Painting) Automatism through igniting petroleum or chemicals, By doing this I found spirit imagery transpires. I reflect on the imagery and work into the paintings with a grisaille technique. (Drawing) I use traditional materials – pencils, erasers and various paper weights. My process has developed with my drawings automatic writing often I allow myself to be in a trance state, and often in isolated locations away from distractions." 

Can you share something of your spiritual journey? 

"My spiritual journey started at the age of seven, from memory, but from stories I have been told a lot earlier. It started with sleep paralysis, to clairaudience. I spent time after school in the local library looking at books on 'the paranormal'. At nine, I tragically lost my best friend and neighbour. From that moment, we had huge amounts of activity in the home. In my teens, I began to see spirit, hear spirit. In my twenties, I was invited into a private spiritual development group by other mediums that I had met. It's only in the years at university that I was able to really explore my past and combine them within my artworks through surrealism." 

Above: Allen has kindly donated the central portrait – a Judges' Favourite in the art competition – to the College archive.

Do you find your paintings or drawings more challenging? 

"I actually find the paintings the biggest challenge as like the drawing there is no planning. It's in the moment. Because I use oils, it's layers and layers of transparent thin paint. Drying is overnight but this can break a flow. I also only decided to try oil painting on my Erasmus in Teruel, Spain. It was a moment that I left all before artistically and went back to basics. Time scale is also totally different. My painting 22:22 was one year to complete. I feel I go into a different consciousness when painting. Sometimes I wake up in the night and see something I didn't before and find myself magnetised for hours, the hours just pass and I'm so engrossed that I feel outside myself. Within drawing its fast erratic, the movements are so free and I guess that's the trance feeling coming over. I've actually learnt to feel this moment and it's quite beautiful". 

How did The Connection come to being? 

"The connection was my latest painting. Its beginning was in Valencia, Spain. It was a very unique painting for me due to my colour use. I developed a process using monochrome (webbing) which again is automatic. This webbing is my expression on consciousness and subconsciousness, how our thoughts and visions allow us to see moments of information before expanding to something else, and this process is continuous, in the connection I formed this into an orb at this point I thought it was complete. It wasn't until I was back at Christmas, I remembered an experience I had seeing a white transparent hand waving in front of my face years previously. I had the idea on my return to Spain on adding the spirit transparent hands, making contact with the consciousness and subconsciousness of the physical mind." 

Some of your paintings have work on the reverse. Can you tell us about that?

"The reverse works have a few reasons. I wanted to use two beginning processes of automatism in one work, 'The Connection' is fire, and the reverse is blindfolded automatism with pencil, I also like to make the viewer think deeply, using depth as illusion or hiding objects or text." 

What inspires you? 

"I'm inspired by some of the many beautifully strange experiences I've had which also combined to the person (Group) that inspired me hugely. It started with me accidentally doing my Erasmus in Spain, not Germany as I chose. Two weeks into me being there, I was questioning why I had felt pulled there, but also felt so lost. On my morning run in the mountains I had been asking for a sign. During my way down the hill a huge grasshopper I almost ran over stopped me in my tracks. I took an image of the grasshopper, when I viewed the image on a larger screen I saw the rock next to the insect had a face. I googled artists that use grasshoppers, and I discovered Salvador Dali as it was his biggest fear as a child and I seen 'The Great Masturbator' painting. I still have the image and in reflection now I see how it inspires my current works. Shortly after I visited Dali's Home and museum which I had a trance experience. Continuing my research I was led to the Surrealist group and their spiritual experimentations. But, I feel without Dali I wouldn't have found my link to the group, historical automatists, writers and spiritual artists." 

Are there any particular artists you admire? 

"In the last five years I have really admired Andre Masson, Hilma af klint, Wassily Kandinsky, Georgiana Houghton, Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea tanning. I'd also like to recognise the many influences I have in the spirit world, that each day & night connect to me." 

What does it mean to do so well in this competition?

"Well, firstly I have to thank a fellow artist Carla Cannon that saw the competition and advised me to apply. As for what it means to me, out of all the exhibitions I've taken part in, this means the most due to its validation of me being a spiritual artist. I say this because I was always very reserved in telling people what my art was. I only started being open with telling people two years ago this was also the case of my spiritual experiences. Seeing that people connect to my art works and are interested in what I project in them is like winning for me." 

Do you have any advice for aspiring spirit artists? 

"Don't be ashamed of what others may think. Know what you're sensing is special, Listen and don't rush the process. In the end it's like a puzzle it all fits together and you see the image clearly. And as the symbology in my artist name says (o2o) - no limit to wisdom." 

Tell us more about your signature o2o? 

"The o2o has been my signature now since 2014, the Erasmus in Spain as I said in one of the answers was a new beginning, a time of reflecting on myself, past and works. I actually attended an illustration class in university as well as other media, just to see from another perspective. I was working on a cartoon illustration of all things and in one of the drawings I saw a shape of a o and a 2o, this jumped out at me. I just started to use this and like my works the symbol has changed in time. It's meaning can represent many things such as Divine consciousness, the ultimate beginning, eternal, I thought deeply on this and came to the conclusion that it was my symbol of constant Eternal learning, Or eternal wisdom." 

All images © Allen Moore o2o

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