Christine Allman


I work as a fine art painter from my studio in Norwich. I enjoy the entire process of making a painting, from cutting and assembling the wooden stretcher to attaching the canvas to making the smooth, white surface with a few layers of white gesso that, when tapped, makes a certain crisp sound which tells me it is ready to begin the transformation of ideas and feelings into images. The drive to communicate my abstract thoughts, ideas and feelings into my own visual language eventually results in a painting for others to view, experience, question, enjoy or reject.


As a painter I value the expressive and emotional potential of painting, I work with two main mediums, oil glazes and egg tempera. I love the transparency and subtleties of colour that are achievable with the traditional use of oil glazes and the sense of light that seems to emanate from within the painting through multiple layers. Early painters such as Francisco Goya and Diego Velazquez and modern painters such as the late hEnglish metaphysical painter Cecil Collins and the Scottish contemporary painter Ken Currie, whom I studied in some depth, each used this method.

My experience with oil glazes provided an entry point into the use of egg tempera, another traditional medium which was historically superseded by oil glazes. The two are very different materially but provide the same opportunity to build an image with the multi-layering of opaque or translucent colour. For me there is an other-worldly quality to be achieved with egg tempera painting. I enjoy the demands of this exacting medium, the attention to detail, the delicacy of graduating colour and expressive mark-making.

I also like to draw, exploring the varying densities of graphite on paper, as both a means of developing ideas for painting as well as fully resolved works.

My imagery is very rarely clear to me at the onset of a piece of work. Sometimes the subject and the means of describing it has a long gestation period of living with visual clues on my studio wall in the form of newspaper or internet cuttings, photographs or my own fragmented sketches until the time is right. I sometimes use photography, stage sets and lighting as a basis for composing, to assist in bringing my ideas to life. A large proportion of my work features folds of draped fabric and clothing used as metaphor for the absence or presence of the human body or to give materiality to the ethereal such as the human physic, the unseen or other.


The image that finally evolves, emerges from the layering of colours and tones that form the core of my enduring pleasure in painting, regardless of the subject matter. One transparent or opaque colour over or against another, one shape in relation to another. The challenge is to create light, shadow, form and texture through this layering process, absorbing and transforming visual clues from the real world and reflecting them back to the viewer.


I encourage an emotive response to my work and a consideration of its underlying narrative. When reading about the work of George Tooker, he made a statement that expressed my aim: “I wanted to paint a positive picture, a religious picture without the religious subject matter”.

Some of my work reviews difficult aspects of human behaviour. Aesthetic appeal is a consideration but my initial concern is the narrative, thoughts and feelings that informs the resulting composition in order to provide an opportunity for consideration and contemplation. For example, media images of war and its consequences are common place. They can either shock or cause eventual indifference, a numbing of our visual senses and emotion, a sometimes necessary protective distancing from these unpalatable events. There is little opportunity for considered thought or conclusions. Painting on the other hand, possesses a seductive quality that offers a different view, diffusing the shock reaction, leaving space for compassion and avoiding the indifference of continual media repetition. I believe that painting offers an alternative means of connection with the reality of human nature, both positive and negative.


In the late 1990’s I finally achieved a long held dream of studying art as a practice. It began with a part time ‘A’ level whilst working full time as a drug worker at a residential rehabilitation centre for women. I had often encouraged the women, as their recovery progressed, to achieve new goals and I came to the realization that it was time I considered this for myself.

I completed a Foundation course in Art and Design at the Norwich School of Art followed by a full time B.A. honours degree and then an M.A., both in Fine Art. During this period I won the essay prize with the Association of Art Historians in 2002. I also benefited from the mentoring of the late Ken Back R.A.

Since that time I have maintained my profile as an exhibiting artist. I have exhibited in group and solo exhibitions, made successful applications when given a brief, and have undertaken commissioned work. I have also curated and managed exhibitions for other artist groups as well as contributing to the continuing presence of an artists' studio co-operative in Norwich and held the role of chair for this organisation for a number of years. I was also a committee member of the annual North Norfolk Exhibition Project at Salthouse in Norfolk and successful in my applications to exhibit with the project on a number of occasions. My work is held in many private collections.

I have teaching experience in both workshops and individual tuition and established The Artree Studio Club which provides tuition to a small group of students. I continue to run the studio club from my large, purpose built, garden studio.


  • Fine art:   1996 -2002 Ken Back R.A.
  • Writing:   1997 - 2000 Maria Beston Art Historian

Art education

  • 2001 - 2003 Norwich School of Art & Design

       M.A.Fine Art


  • 1997 - 2001 Nowich School of Art & Design

       BA Honours Degree Fine Art, 2.1

       Commendation for Dissertation


  • 1997  Wensum Lodge Adult Education Centre, Norwich

       Art & Design Ceramics GCSE ‘O’ Level


  • 1997 Norwich City College

       Art & Design: Historical and Critical GCSE ‘A’ Level


  • Norwich School of Art & Design

       Foundation Studies, BTEC Diploma




2020 November My work titled ‘Shadow’ included in The Discerning Eye Exhibition,Parker Harris, London.


2020 Autumn My work titled ‘Shadow’ highly commended The John Hurt Art Prize, Holt Festival, Holt, Norfolk


2019 February Gallery 21. Reepham, Norfolk, Solo exhibition for one month


2018 May-June Norwich Festival Open Studios


2018 May June Norwich Festival, Open Studios curated exhibition at the Theatre Royal


2017 May /June – Norfolk Open Studios and Forum Taster Exhibition


2017 May/June – Norfolk Open Studios Theatre Royal Exhibition


2015 October - Institute of East Anglian Artists Open             Submission Exhibition, hosted by The Picturecraft Gallery, Holt. Norfolk.

2015 September - Underground, Looking Twice, Lonely Arts Club, The Undercroft, Norwich, Norfolk.


2014 October - Autumn Show - Lonely Arts Club Autumn  show, Nuns Yard and Yallops, St. Augustines, Norwich, Norfolk.


2014 August /September - Un Imaginable - Lonely Arts Club, The Undercroft, Norwich, Norfolk.


2014 April - Solo show,The Swan House, Beccles, Norfolk.

2014 - Norwich Contemporary Arts - open exhibition, The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk.


2013 November - Artree Studio Club, The Red Light Gallery, Grapes Hill View, Norwich, Norfolk. 


2013 September/October - Solo exhibition of paintings and drawings, Wymondham Arts Centre, Wymondham, Norfolk.

2013 June/July - Anteros Foundation Open Summer Exhibition, Norwich, Norfolk. (Also see prizes and awards)


2013 April/May - Evolution of Angels St. Peter Hungate Art Museum, Norwich, Norfolk.


2012 September - SLASH @ Wymondham Art Centre, artists Christine Allman, Kathryn and Dennis Caswell, Aidan Abernethy,and David Kenyon, Wymondham, Norfolk. 


2011 August - SLASH @ Wymondham Art Centre, artists

Christine Allman, Kathryn and Dennis Caswell, Anna MacRae and Aidan Abernethy, Wymondham, Norfolk.


2011 July - Elements: Material World, The Forum, City Centre, Norwich, Norfolk.

2010 December - Solo exhibition, The Swan House, Beccles, Norfolk.

2010 September - Lonely Arts Club ‘10’, The Forum, City Centre, Norwich, Norfolk

2010 July/August - Salthouse 10, Landmark, Celebrating 10yr Aniversary, NNEP, Salthouse Church, Salthouse, Norfolk.

2010 May -Launch & Open Studios ZEROEAST Art Studios, 

Norwich, Norfolk.

2009 July - The Lonely Arts Club ‘09’ , The Forum, City Centre, Norwich, Norfolk

2008 July/August - SLASH at WAS, artists Warehouse Artists Studios, Norwich, artists Christine Allman, Kathryn Caswell and Dennis Caswell, Warehouse Artists Studios, Norwich, Norfolk.


2008 June/July - Wunderkammer Festival, Warehouse Artists Studios, Norwich.


2008 May - An Invisible Sun, Warehouse Artists Studios, Norwich, Norfolk



2008 May - Open Studios, Warehouse Artists Studios

Norwich, Norfolk.

2007 June - SLASH @ St. Margaret's Church, Norwich, Norfolk.

2007 Jan/Feb - Warehouse Artists Studios 'Winter Festival 07’ exhibition, workshops, talks and events, Warehouse Artists Studios, Norwich, Norfolk.


2006 March - Solo show, The Swan House, Beccles, Norfolk.

2005 September - Fringe at the Factory, Norwich Fringe Festival,

Norwich, Norfolk.

2005 July/August - Salthouse 05, Salthouse Church, Salthouse, Norfolk.

2005 May - Warehouse Open Studios, Warehouse Artists Studios, Norwich, Norfolk


2005 February - Warehouse on the Wash, artists from the Warehouse Artists Studios, King’s Arts Centre, Kings Lynn, Norfolk.


2004 November - ‘Unfold’, Solo show, gallery talk, slide seminar and student tutorials, Hay Gallery, Colchester Institute of Art & Design, Colchester, Essex


2004 Sept/October - Fringe at the Factory, Norwich Fringe Festival, Norwich, Norfolk.

2004 August - Salthouse 04, Salthouse Church, Salthouse, Norfolk.


2004 May - Norfolk Open Studios 2004, Norwich, Norfolk.


2004 May - Suffolk Open Studios 2004, Stables Gallery, Diss, Norfolk.


2004 April - The Ken Back Legacy, exhibition of work by the students of Ken Back R.A, Graham & Oldham Artist’s Gallery, Ipswich, Suffolk.

2004 March - Solo show, The Swan House, Beccles, Norfolk.


2003 September - M.A.Fine Art, Final Show, Norwich School of Art & Design, Norwich, Norfolk.

2003 April - Uncertain Histories- Elements Of Danger. East Wing Gallery, Blickling Hall, Norfolk. 


2003 March - M.A. Interim show, Norwich School of Art & Design, Norwich Norfolk.


2002 August - M.A. Interim show, Norwich School of Art & Design, Norwich, Norfolk.

2002 March - Solo show, The Swan House, Beccles, Norfolk

2002 March - Treading Boards, The Stroud House Gallery, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

2002 February - M.A. Interim show, Norwich School of Art & Design, Norwich, Norfolk.


2001 July - B.A Degree Final Show, Norwich School of Art & Design, Norwich, Norfolk.


2000 November -  Figuratively Speaking, Norwich School of Art & Design, Norwich, Norfolk.


1996 Spring - Work by Norwich School of Art & Design Students, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk



Awards and Prizes

2013 - The Anteros Open Summer Exhibition Painting Prize


2002 - The Association of Art Historians Essay Prize 2002, for essay Palimpsest A Pornography of Wounds, in association with The Department of  History, The Arts Centre, University of Nottingham. 





Publications & Reviews

2002 - Abstact of Palimpsest A Pornography of Wounds  published in the Asssociation of Art Historians journal.


2003 July -  Book review of Drapery, Classicism and Barbarism in Visual Culture, written by Gen Doy, (Professor of Visual Culture at De Montford University) published in 'Textiles' journal distributed in both the United Kingdom and  United States America.   


2014 Jan - Elements: Material Worlds, Norwich Contemporary Arts 2014, Meet the Artists. Talks by participating artists over three days, The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk.

2004 November - ‘Unfold’, Solo show, gallery talk, slide seminar and student tutorials, Hay Gallery, Colchester Institute of Art & Design, Colchester, Essex


2008 June/ July - Wunderkammer Festival, Warehouse Artists Studios, Norwich.  Artists Studios, Norwich, Norfolk.


2007 Jan/Feb - Warehouse Artists Studios 'Winter Festival 07’, oil glazing demonstration, talk, slides and workshop,  


2004 November - ‘Unfold’, Solo show,  oil glazing demonstration, Hay Gallery, Colchester Institute of Art & Design, Colchester, Essex

Teaching History

 I began The Art Tree Studio Club in 2009. It grew from the belief that every individual has a unique capacity for creative development whatever their age or ability. Adopting the image of a tree as its logo the 'art tree' as a concept represents the intuitive and organic development of the artist and their art.' I continue to teach students from my studio on this basis.