Born in Busan, South Korea Bryon Lee Allison was adopted along with his sister and two brothers. The youngest of five siblings, Bryon’s interest in storytelling grew from a childhood surrounded by books and the many nights falling asleep as his siblings read to him. Raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a unique town that dates back to the 1700s and later flourished as a Victorian city, Bryon was exposed to the colonial, Victorian and Pennsylvanian folk aesthetics in which he embraces today.
While at the University of Colorado Bryon pursued a bachelors in media production and a minor creative writing, but ultimately found a home within the Fine Arts program. Between work shown at the 2019 ‘Media Hype’ exhibition and the 2020 ‘King Exhibition’, the evolution of his work can be seen through the transition from digital to traditional methods. Through the use of traditional processes, Bryon attempts to create a deep connection to a shared historical narrative in which his work can rest upon.
During the past year, masks have become a necessary accessory against the coronavirus. Essential for our protection against this unseen invader, masks have long held significance for various cultures throughout history. As an important part of ceremonies and rituals, masks are seen as a way to bridge the gap between the physical and spiritual world. The wearers are not disguised as spirits but rather become possessed by that spirit; they become a conduit through which the supernatural can operate within our world. Entranced, a wearer’s movements become the unconscious expression of something beyond our human understanding; free the conscious restrictions created by society.
My work is concerned with the renewal of mythological beliefs and folk traditions, such as the use of masks, that today are often dismissed as relics of less informed societies. As science saturates us with a never-ending stream of information, the metaphorical stories that once helped to shape societies are now seen as childish and of no use to an enlightened society. From the cave paintings of our prehistoric ancestors, the arts have long been used to help communicate mythological stories the transformative events intrinsic to the human condition such as birth, adulthood and death. Through the use of crafts practices, such as knitting, I attempt to expand upon the symbolic metaphors already established within our collective history. Inspired by the Arte Povera movement of the 1970’s and its revitalization of craft practices and spectacle to take an anti-modernist stance; my use of everyday materials, such as yarn and textiles, help to reflect the angst I feel as self-reliance and individualism become erased by the digital age.