Anna Church is an emerging artist from New Zealand who currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is a graduate of the National College of Design and Technology in New Zealand and studied Photography, Digital Imaging, and Advanced Studio Lighting at Ryerson University in Toronto. A self-proclaimed ‘sculptographer,’ Anna photographs carefully composed sculptural assemblages of found objects, ranging from taxidermy animal heads to fine china and jewelry. She reassigns meaning to these unconventional objects, often touching on themes of nostalgia, humor, and social commentary.
Anna’s work The Botanist has been featured in the Affordable Art Fair New York’s spring 2016 campaign. She will exhibit her works at the fair and has previously participated in several international exhibitions and art fairs. Most recently, she had solo shows at the Poi Room (New Zealand) and Dimensions Gallery (Toronto), and exhibited her works at the Affordable Art Fair New York and The Artist Project. Anna has been featured in numerous publications, including Uppercase, NZ Homestyle, and INSIDE OUT Australia.
What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
My ideas and concepts come from everyday observations and current influences in society. My Out Of Time and Impermanence series conveyed a social and environmental commentary. I love nostalgic and historic societal themes too, and I like to use a bit of satire occasionally (depending on my concept) to gently push conversational boundaries (but not in a inexplicable way). With each new series I create, I continue to pursue how I can transform things / objects from their original convention and produce unexpected beauty.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Feel the fear and do it anyway! This is my daily vow. Being and artist / entrepreneur — all of it is a creation of trial and error. Every day I try and do it better than the time before. I log my key difficulties and my successes. I refine my methods and procedures in how I create and how I run my business. I listen and read the advice of those who have lived it. My go to guy for such advice is Paul Jarvis – he’s all about using your creativity to make a living.
And I love this quote by Helen Frankenthaler – “Whatever the medium, there is the difficulty, challenge, fascination and often productive clumsiness of learning a new method: the wonderful puzzles and problems of translating with new materials.”
Prefer to work with music or in silence?
With music! Classical, Indie, pop, funk, acoustic — I love to mix it up!
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
ANYTHING by Emily Ferretti.
Who are your favorite writers?
Douglas Coupland, Jane Austin, Witi Ihimaera, and Janet Frame (New Zealand authors). Lately my reading material has been influenced by my 4 and 6 year old children, giving me the chance to rekindle the love of my favorite childhood authors like Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, C.S Lewis, Dr. Suess and Hans Christian Andersen. I also love reading artist biographies, short poems, and quotes, and looking through beautifully curated home interior books. I also read countless blogs, interior magazines (e.g Elle Decor UK, Dwell, Frankie), business magazines (e.g Fast Company, Wired), and the National Geographic.