John Allen

John Allen

John has been working with wood for over 50 years, meticulously crafting beautiful pieces from fallen and found native timbers. After having walked the corporate path for much of his working life, he switched his focus to his life-long passion for wood sculpture—and we are celebrating!  

In the 90’s, feeling a restless desire for change, John dove into an exploration of philosophy, and the practice of art. It was this change in worldview that motivated him to hone his sculpture practice over the last decade. A big inspiration of John’s is Christopher Alexander, whose approach is to bring about wholeness and life in art and architecture.  

John’s current work includes woods such as pūriri, pōhutukawa and kauri, which taps into old forms, as a metaphorical link to our deeper being. He sources his materials from fallen trees, driftwood, and reclaimed woods, and uses them in versatile ways. This includes gorgeous wall sculptures, lamps, and stools—the photos we attached only show a fraction of the skill involved.

John’s work has a real warmth to it, and being very tactile, it begs the viewer to lean in and touch it. The smooth and exacting finish of his work hides hours of contemplation, design and shaping. Each wood piece has a story to it, sculpted lovingly with the same hands that found it in its natural form. John shows a wide range of his one-of-a-kind pieces in Turua Gallery, including through exhibitions. His specialised skill is also available for commissions.