Jane Ingram Allen

Jane Ingram Allen

Jane Ingram Allen is a sculptor/installation artist who does public art projects and residencies around the world using handmade paper she creates from local plant waste materials.  Usually her work has an environmental or eco-art focus, and she uses natural biodegradable and sustainable materials and methods.  For more information about her work, check out her website at www.janeingramallen.com and her Blog about the most recent art projects at http://janeingramallen.wordpress.com

By the way, Jane Ingram Allen is my wife and because of her many artist-in-residency awards we have been able to travel and work in many different countries around the world.


Masai Running

My wife, Jane Ingram Allen arranged a month long artist in residency at Warm Heart Art Tanzania in Arusha for us during the parts of January and February 2008. The residency was very special as it combined making paper from local plants to spending seven days on safari. Arusha and the surrounding areas were a gold mine for taking street photography.

One of the most impressionable thing about Tanzania was the colors. The conga, the traditional costumes worn by women, were so vivid that they seemed to scream out in various patterns and colors. They were wrapped around their bodies in various ways. Many of the pictures you will see here include women in this traditional clothing. While on safari we visited a traditional Masai village. For Masai the traditional clothing for both men and women was conga like but in plaids of bright colors. A popular one was red.

These photos are of place and humans. There are no wild animals. You may see those under the menu heading, Nature.

School Girls and Vegetable Sellers

This was a typical scene on the streets of Arusha.


Banana Selling Old Woman

It was very common for women to carry things on their heads. They did use a pad that helped form their head to the object they were carrying.


Carrying on Their Heads

Here is another example of women carrying things in downtown Arusha.


Women Carrying Sacks on Their Heads

I took this photo from a car as these women were walking down the road. I was surprised as to the weight that women could carry on their heads.


Women at a Day Market

Here is a good example of the variety of congas worn by women.


Jane in a Fabric Shop

Buying traditional conga fabric was one of the many enjoyable things to do while at this residency.


Commemorative Bush Visit Conga

While we were in Arusha President George W. Bushed visited. A commemorative conga was printed. The woman on the right is wearing one.



Coca Cola

Coke was a popular soft drink.


Wedding Party Approaching

Wedding parties came to this park-like round-a-bout to celebrate. These wedding party participants came in open pick up trucks with the bride and groom in a nice car. They danced and celebrated with music. There was no food and the wedding vows seemed to have been done before as their was no formal exchange of vows with a minister present. I was left with the impression that wedding groups booked this park like space by the hour. Photographers hung about and if the party did not have an official photographer one could be hired on the spot.


Masai Market in Arusha

The Masais had a market in Arusha where you could buy souvenirs, fabric and other items. Individuals sold from small spaces in these long buildings. It was an obvious tourist spot.


While visiting the Masai village we were entertained with a traditional Masai song where young warriors jumped up and down. He is wearing one of the traditional conga style wraps. As I remember the song was about a lion hunt.

While visiting the Masai village we were entertained with a traditional Masai song where young warriors jumped up and down. He is wearing one of the traditional conga style wraps. As I remember the song was about a lion hunt.


Teacher at School

We also visited a school near a resort outside of Arusha. This teacher earned enough money to have her hair braided. Most women shaved their hair. I was told it was easier to care for. I also suspected it had something to do with less chance of getting lice and other vermin.


Women Carrying Child

This is one of my favorite photos from Tanzania. This woman was walking down the road in a village outside of Arusha. Her congas were wonderful.












Progress is Being Made on My Photographer’s Blog

I’m pleased to announce that progress is being made on my “Photographer” Themed Blog. So far the following has been accomplished

1. Front page has photos with a slide show

2. The Blog is posting blog announcements, such as this one – before my front page would have been the place to look for new blog postings.

3. Jane Ingram Allen’s Art Projects for “For the Birds” has been completed with sub menus for “Feathers”, “Small Nests” and “Large Nest”.

4. The Portfolio/Travel section has text and a photo for Cambodia and for Vietnam and more photos for Taiwan. More will be added to Cambodia and Vietnam.

More progress will be be coming in the next week.

Thank you for your patience and for putting up with the occasionally wrong posting.

I’d welcome your comments. There should be a form below for comments.


Chinese New Years Store

We lived in Taiwan for eight and one half years from January 2004 to July of 2012. My wife Jane Ingram Allen was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and elected to go to Taiwan on a six month research project. The project was to determine what plants and trees could make paper. During this six months we stayed mostly in Taipei. She requested and received a second Fulbright to continue her research at thirteen additional places in Taiwan. After completing the years research a book was written and major exhibitions held.

I then applied and was hired as a full time native speaker for the Department of Applied English at Hsiuping Institute of Science and Technology in Taichung County. The school later became the Hsiuping University of Science and Technology. After seven years I retired and we returned to the U.S.

We return each year for about three month for Jane to curate the Chinglong International Environmental Sculpture Exhibition. If you would like to know more about Jane’s research work, go to http://www.janeingramallen.com

Additional images will be added to the Taiwan Blog section.


Three Girls Playing

Three girls were playing in the plaza in front of the National Taiwan Fine Arts Museum in Taichung. It was one of my favorite locations to photograph as so many Taiwanese enjoyed going their to play and relax.


Photo Yourself

Taiwanese really enjoyed photographing each other.and themselves. These were in the National Museum of Fine Arts Plaza in Taichung.


Learning to Play Music

This boy was learning to play music on this traditional instrument from an older man.


Play in the Water Jets

Near the Taiwan National Fine Arts Museum that was a place where children would play in the water spouts. It seemed great fun on hot day.


Gathering Oysters

Since Taiwan is an island, fishing is common and produces very fresh and abundant seafood. Near Ching long many people raise and harvest oysters. This man and his wife were elderly but went out to gather, shuck and sell their catch.



When I asked my students what they enjoyed doing the most it seemed “Shopping” was the most common answer. Here is one of the most popular shopping area in Taipei. It is Hsimen Ding. Here you can find most anything for youth oriented people.






Telephone Wires in Phnom Penh

Cambodia was an interesting country, still struggling with its violent and destructive history. The Pol Pot killed millions of people. We saw few older people who would have been young at the time when Pol Pot was on their killing spree. When we talked to Cambodians the killings seemed to be fresh on their mind; understandably so with members of the family killed.

We traveled from Taiwan to Phnom Penh to stay in the capital for five days. We then traveled by bus to Seam Reap to see Ankor Wat and the Floating Village. We stayed there for five days and then took a bus back to Phnom Penh and continued by bus the same day to Sihanoukville on the Gulf of Thailand. We were there for fours days and then returned to Phnom Penh to return to Taiwan. There were many photo opportunities. Additional photos will be added to this Cambodian blog site.


HoChiMin City Venders

Vietnam was a fascinating place and wonderful for photography. We stayed in HoChiMen City for most of our stay. The people were friendly and the shopping was interesting and diverse. We plan on returning to Vietnam

Large Nest

Large Nest

The children and volunteers of Point Reyes area worked with Jane Ingram Allen to construct the large nest in the Commons and make many handmade paper feathers to line this nest. This public art project was completed on September 22, and the handmade paper feathers were tied onto the large Nest for the birds to eat.

Early Construction of the Large Nest

Early construction of the large nest was made possible by putting long branches of willow and olive trees into the ground to form a circle at the Point Reyes Station Commons. Significant help came from Ramon who lives in the area.

Community Volunteers Help Build Large Nest

Many community volunteers helped build the large nest by weaving flexible branches into the upright branches. Here Jane, Mary and Betty help with construction.

Volunteers Help Build the Large Nest

Two excellent volunteers, Sue and Lynn are helping Jane with the construction of the large nest. They also helped with the programs at the West Marin School.


Inside the Large Nest

Some young helpers worked from the inside of the large nest putting up feathers.


Hanging Feathers on the Large Nest

Once the construction on the large nest was completed, people began hanging handmade paper feathers onto the large nest. The feathers had bird seed imbedded into the feathers. The hope is that as the feathers naturally deteriorate the birds will eat the fallen seeds.

Feathers Blowing in the Wind

Feathers hung from the large nest would turn and blow in the wind.

Large Nest Performance

When the large nest was completed and most of the handmade paper feathers had been hung, a performance was done to dedicate this public art project. The performance was done by Diana Marto and another local artist.

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