Jill Allan

About Jill Allan


Artist’s Statement

On the night of the first dinner at River Cafe, Hal Eagletail shared the teaching of the buffalo; how the buffalo’s body was built to face and weather the storms of the open prairie, not to take shelter from them. I began to think of the buffalo as a metaphor for facing difficult issues and conflict, and for the resurgence of traditional wisdom specific to this place. The buffalo is an important part of the prairie ecosystem, significant to the survival of the other animals, people, and plants living around it. The buffalo models our group goals of reconnecting to the land and ancient traditions, restoring sustainable patterns, sharing a hopeful future, curbing consumption and replenishing the land, and facing difficult situations together.

In my artwork Thundering Herd, the glass shapes mimic the buffalo herd in silhouette as though they were re-emerging from the glass platform, coming back from the land. The glass shapes also look like clouds in the big prairie sky to give a sense of place and distance, and to reference the idea of storms.

As a landscape, Thundering Herd references the horizon alluding to the past and future. There is word play in the title which when spoken could mean hearing thunder as well as a thundering herd of animals.


Statement of Hope

Together, our shared hope for the future of the Land and Energy is to reconnect to an ancient story and rediscover a daily practice of gratitude and connection with the land. In doing this restore sustainable patterns and behaviours that reduce consumption and replenish the land.



Originally from Vancouver Island, Jill Allan is currently teaching at Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary. She graduated with an MFA from Bowling Green State University, Ohio in 2013. Her work is quiet, and based in the craft tradition of vessel making. Allan is interested in design, installation, and working with light.