Allida Warn is an artist, teacher, and researcher with a practice in Socially Engaged Art (SEA). She creates participatory projects in order to share and learn with others. She loves the ephemeral and the interconnected. She creates contemplative personal work primarily in the disciplines of printmaking, fiber, and non-traditional materials. Allida’s SEA practices range through most artistic media and bridge academic disciplines through collaborations that she cultivates with disciplinary experts from anthropology and geology to engineering and math.
Black and white drawing project. I bring in a variety of popular and contemporary art and pencil drawings as inspiration images along with black, white, and grey paper, and a variety of media like paint, oil pastels, charcoal, pencils, and erasers. Students are then allowed to explore their own ideas and scaffolded to visualize chiaroscuro, and the graphical qualities of line quality.
Math Art. Students play with measuring implements, make tessellations, learn modular origami and build a giant Bucky Ball. It is a part of a six week series taught at FLY Children’s Art Center in the studio, summer camps, and after school programs. The culminating project is the installation of a large Platonic solid such as a Bucky Ball or a Dodecahedron so that kids can get “inside of math.” I developed this jointly with Rob Marshal, the creator of the large objects, Professor Nesa Wu of Eastern Michigan University, and Christine Bruxvoort who was the Executive Director of FLY at that time.
As we have grown, I’ve created a variety of interactive projects at FLY. We have made a giant mandala, a gratitude tree, a god’s eye geodesic, large scale pseudo cave paintings, foot prints in a variety of modes, and finally this web of interconnectedness that I named UNTIED-UNITED.
Fascinated by grandmother’s drawings and rag rugs, the abstract expressionism of Sonia Delaunay, and traditional arts from Finland, I made a series of rag-rugs to evoke natural imagery– the sun and the rain.
While living in Spain, I was overwhelmed by the dryness of the land. Having lived in Chicago near Lake Michigan, the arid desert was so different, and I started to draw the Seine while sitting on the banks of a canal near Gare du Nord. These became abstract images that I have printed on cloth and have worked into a few designs.
This fall we had a teacher feature show during the honey-bee festival so I made a giant walk-in honeycomb installation out of fabric so that visitors could walk into it.
The flow of flexible structures across the human form is fascinating. Something that was made by stretching and weaving or looping and knotting that looks flat can take on form. It is the liquid form of matter that is still solid.
Fluid structures accentuate the movement of the figure. The architecture of the body becomes both hidden and clear at once.
Allida has worked as a Costumer, and Fashion designer, as well as making her own designed wearable objects. She loves to recycle and re-use materials and to play with the structure of garments from her imagination, from history, or inspired by current trends.
Cathedrals and Time
A longitudinal study of the monumental nature of our infrastructure as it interacts with the natural world. Also Known As my Cathedral of M-14. It is located in Bandemer Park in Ann Arbor, and was under construction this summer, which made for even more interesting documentary work.
For more images and writing.
Through a Glass Darkly
Self portraits, myself seen through a glass darkly. We are all capable of self-awareness, yet our human perceptions are limited and there is only so much we can know of ourselves, as Paul mentions in his letter to the Corinthians: For now we see but through a glass darkly, and then it shall be face to face. Paul, of course was referring to our spiritual awakening through Christianity, and as an artist, this sentiment resonates deeply. Self-examination is a part of artistic practice, and yet, there is always more to learn. The asymptote of learning as it approaches human development.
For more images and writing.
As a part of making artworks, Allida began documenting her own work. Through that process she picked up digital photography and Video-manipulation skills. She likes to explore patterns, texture, and the passage of time in her photos.