WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE?
My art practice encompasses several disciplines that focus around sculptural arrangements of emherma - preserved in a photographic form. Originally working as a Graphic, Textile Designer & editorial stylist, in 2008 I decided to pursue my true passion & begin a path as a practicing Fine Art Maker. My very first series 'For NZ Sake' was exhibited 11 years ago at The Poi Room. Since then, my work has been exhibited in Toronto (where I currently live), New York, Miami, Amsterdam, Hong Kong & collected globally.
WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Since 2020, I have made a habit of 'practicing my practice' daily or at least for a good few hours a week. I use this time to keep experimenting & photographing what I have produced without the pressure of completing a series for a certain date or show. This has enabled me to stay in the creative zone & hone & develop my skills & ideas (& of course establish new work). It also gives me a much needed breather from admin & the social media overload.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN - WHERE DID THIS PASSION FOR THE ARTS COME FROM?
My Grandmother was a successful career artist & Art Teacher. My childhood home was full of her still life oil paintings, so I guess I had exposure from a young age. My parents offered a curiosity for knowledge, culture & instilled a value of being of service. I like to think art is a service, one that opens up people's perspectives & conversations, whilst bringing joy to their interior worlds.
AS AN ARTIST, WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
The wonder of the everyday, in every soundbite this world has to offer us. I love to observe how things form, what past life they've had & what new life I can give them. The series of work I've been working on since April 2020 is about 'Wintering'. The title is used as a metaphor for staying in place (hibernating), taking respite & rejuvenating ourselves, in the hope we can serve this world better environmentally. Since Covid began, Toronto (where I live) has been in a state of closure or lockdown. Months of still & solitary time (along with almost 6 months of homeschooling) have allowed for reflection, recuperation & regeneration, for slow replenishment, & for putting my home & equilibrium in order. It’s helped me to see that I (we) need to take on our own radical & essential acts of transformation. I hope our society can learn to slow down & begin to regenerate & care more for our planet. And ensure Earth will be okay & inhabitable for future generations. As Earthlings we seemed to have forgotten this memo & Covid has given us a forced reminder.
WHAT IS THE THEMES / STORIES BEHIND YOUR PIECES?
My artworks often revolve around & incorporate ideas of repurposing, salvaging, reusing, archiving taxonomized ephemera, that is not meant to be retained or preserved. The 'Assemble' series is made up of unique compositions using vintage decommissioned mechanical molds. With connectivity & unity as my themes, I wanted to highlight & focus on the notion of collaboration through sustainability, by assembling & repurposing these old materials. Given a second life by being assembled into sculptural compositions, the compositions become greater than the sum of their distinct & separate parts.
WHAT TYPE OF COFFEE DO YOU DRINK?
A bullet coffee in the morning until I break fast at 1pm, then I love a flatwhite with oat milk!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE / MISS ABOUT AOTEAROA?
Pretty much everything right now! Although I have benefited creatively having endured such unpredictable & unprecedented times, which has brought new layers of cognitive development & awareness. But as a family we've felt very isolated & heartbroken to be so distanced from Grandparents, Family, close friends & the beauty of NZ.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WORKING & LIVING IN CANADA?
I've loved the opportunities to live & immerse myself in a new country & establish a lovely community around me. Being exposed to a larger market & being so close to the U.S has been beneficial for expediting my art to new markets & people.
HOW HAS YOUR ARTWORK CHANGED OVER TIME?
Guided by intuition & imagination, Anna Church has created a poetic journey of subtle abstractions that resound with the echo of constructivism but also express a desire to exceed tradition. Freed from the constraints of formula, Church uses delicate tonal differences & faint colours for qualities of a multi-level composition that resembles the natural world.
HOW / HAS THE DIGITAL SPACE AFFECTED YOUR ARTWORK?
My works, although vast in their execution, share a distinctive aesthetic. Guided by intuition & imagination that express a desire to exceed traditional norms of photography. Working within no particular genre frees me from the constraints of any formula. The Sculptography medium is my alternative to putting paint to canvas. Instead I can build, arrange, sculpt (paint) & layer my visions to express my ideas & concepts without limitation within a certain medium. Seemingly, I've been able to maintain a consistent aesthetic somehow. Which enables the work I've produced for over a decade now, to have an aesthetic cohesion.
WHAT IS YOUR STUDIO / CREATIVE SPACE LIKE?
I'm so fortunate to have the use of a large front room that fills with natural afternoon light on the second floor of our house (which has also had to recently operate as a homeschool HQ for the past year).
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LEGACY / LASTING IMPRESSION TO BE AS AN ARTIST?
That my art not only brought enjoyment but the process in which it was made or came to be created was also admired & contemplated. That I didn't let fear stand in the way of experimenting & for all the failures, good work was produced & enjoyed by many.
WHAT DREW YOU TO WORKING WITH THE POI ROOM?
My footing as an emerging artist on the scene was not long after The Poi Room opened their first Brick & Mortar shop in New Market. Their ethos was a perfect fit for the Kiwiana Art I was creating back in the day & still is!
DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE POI ROOM & HOW OUR VALUES FIT WITH YOUR BUSINESS...
It's been a wonderful collaborative art marriage & one I continue to treasure. The Poi Room's ethos, genuine nurturing & support have been pivotal in the evolutionary journey of my art practice.