Gillian Allard lives and works as a photographic artist and teacher in Suffolk. In 2017 she entered the Sky Arts, Master Of Photography television competition based in Rome, Italy. In an eight-week process of elimination, Gillian and the other contestants worked hard to hold their place. Gillian reached the final and was chosen by the judges as the unanimous winner of that years contest. Click on this link to view a selection of her MOP2 images.
In 2018, she was commissioned by the PhotoEast Festival to work with her local refugee community, using the theme of 'Belonging'. This evolved into a body of work whereby Gillian bonded her photographic portraits of the community onto large sheets of OSB board finishing them with graffiti paints. She then invited the participants to hand-write their stories directly onto them. Click on the link to view Refugee Stories.
Gillian is a qualified teacher and has continued teaching self-designed photography workshops and programmes for a broad range of organisations and people, including Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children for Suffolk County Council, NEACO for schools, Suffolk Artlink and 1 to 1 adult sessions. She has continued to working on a portfolio of unusual landscape photographs and further developed the process of printing her photographs and sometimes archival imagery onto alternative surfaces such as wood, concrete and flint. View other examples of this work in the Alternative Surface Prints gallery.
In May 2021 she received a Develop Your Creative Practice grant from the Arts Council, England to further research the bonding of photographs on concrete surfaces for exterior display. As a result she collaborated with Epson UK and in September exhibited with them at The Photo Show, a 60cm x 45cm concrete example titled 'A Lowestoft Man'. She worked towards upscaling the image and finding sealant solutions and in late November with support of Epson UK, East Suffolk Council & Anglia Water, successfully bonded & sealed a 166cm x 120cm version of the photograph at Ness Point in Lowestoft, the UKs most easterly coastal location. Click on this link to read the project blog.
During the 2021 lockdown Gillian made a concrete portrait of her son Stan, specifically for the popular Grayson Perrys Art Club program - the theme was 'Dreams' - she reshot it in the sea at Felixstowe on a very foggy day. The photograph was selected from the thousands of entries as one of Grayson's top 'picks'. It is now exhibited in the Series 2 group show at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery until September 2022.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Gillian studied Photojournalism at The London College of Printing in 1992 and achieved a Master of Arts at the Royal College of Art, graduating with a distinction.
She created feature style photo stories for a range of magazines and newspapers including The Observer Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian Women's Section as well as photographing well known people such as Sir Paul McCartney, Jo Brand and Tony Benn. To see a selection of these black and white film images, click on this link.
She joined the Photographers Gallery Print Sales, London in 2003-2007 and has exhibited both nationally and internationally.