Born in Edinburgh, Ruary Allan has come to Glastonbury via periods in California, Japan and Spain. Another Tribe member working in the gallery space, Ruary’s past life as a geologist is apparent in the landscapes—dreamscapes, rather— he invents in oil and acrylic paint, experimenting with surrealist marbling techniques. His work can be described as a psychedelic rejection of materialism, intensely coloured visual journeys featuring sacred geometry and spiritual imagery in neon dreamscapes.
One of Ruary’s major influences is Roger Dean, the celebrated English artist and creator of evocative album covers of the 70s and 80s. (Dean’s fine art, especially his recent work, suggests a shared interest in geology.) Ruary celebrates the ridiculous and believes there is comedy in his art. His more representational pieces are clearly fantastical. In his own words: “A lot of my work begins as cartoons or abstract forms – quickly derived images end up being complex narratives. I introduce intentional elements that put my work in the context of spiritual change. The relationship of man to nature, to evolution, to recognising consciousness in the Universe.” Ruary is a self-taught artist but credits Rembrandt, Dali, the Surrealists and Max Ernst with influencing his style.