Allison Zurfluh’s painting stems from a decade-long dedication to the northern Venetian Lagoon. Her work champions the protection of one of the world’s most beguiling wetlands, generating awareness of the perils facing its ancestral fishing methods, local culture, and sustainable lifestyle. Laguna Veneta, a paradise in peril presents oil paintings and watercolours that interpret her relationship with this environment and its inhabitants.
Allison’s 2022 exhibit in Venice, Italy, Let Wild Run Free, reminisced on a lifestyle fading due to the consequences of globalization, climate change, unenforced maritime regulations, and poorly managed tourism. In response, Laguna Veneta, a paradise in peril peels back the layers of landscape that cry out for protection. Alone in the wilds, with a boat and painting supplies, Allison reached a turning of the soul—rather than a call to arms, this exhibit strips the self to immerse into the transformative act of an alliance with nature.
In Laguna Veneta, a paradise in peril, Allison is particularly interested in the layering of colour on the rough canvas, which embraces the natural environment of the Venetian marshland. In her poem, Rough Burlap of Gold, she juxtaposes the beauty of the natural world with the curated one, emphasising the need to redefine what we consider beautiful or valuable. In a nod to the climate crisis, she speaks to the negative impact of devaluing living communities and ancient fishing techniques.
Laguna Veneta, a paradise in peril is Allison’s debut exhibit in Zurich. Born to a Swiss family in California, she returned thirty years ago and divides her time between northern Switzerland and Venice, where, integrated into local life on the island fishing village of Burano, she spends her time either alone in her boat, observing the layers of mud and clay, grasses and water that make up the environment, or accompanying the fishermen in their work, learning the history and traditions of their trade.
Allison trained under Australian artist John Kelly and has been long inspired by Californian Carole Free. She uses palette knife and brush to create her oil paintings on linen and burlap, preferring the texture and hue of a natural canvas. In the same vein, she uses granulating watercolours on natural fibre paper to convey the beguiling and unpredictable toughness of the natural world.
Rough Burlap of Gold
By Allison Zurfluh
On the ancient green the water knows,
In the swollen skin is skill.
On the hardened sky the wind will blow,
in a deep and enchanting till.
In the bend of tree it will sing to me,
From a feathered throat of old;
And you with me will meet as three,
In the rough burlap of gold.
CH + 41 76 345 3554
ITA +39 388 325 5635
Daily from 11.00 – 20.00
Closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
Live painting on every opening day.
08.03.2023 at 18.00