The Riverside Café Gallery is pleased to show a selection of a recent body of experimental works by Anna Garrett entitled glitter. garden. garbage. The exhibition will run from 27 November – 4 December, with a private view on Wednesday 2 December, 6.30pm – 8pm.
Anna’s work suggests how ruin, garbage and the overlooked could reveal ‘truth’ within contemporary consumer culture.
Her previous projects include Welcome to Paradise, painting and collage that exposed the hollowness of the image, combining tropical travel brochure imagery with elements of the overlooked reality of human presence. These large scale neon works were on display at the UCA Farnham Degree Show in 2014.
We had a chat with Anna about her work and what inspires her.
What are you working on at the moment and where do you find the ideas for your work?
My works read like paintings but address the notion of the advertising image and the powerful seduction of the commercial dream. I am interested in playing with the viewers’ desires and attraction to colour and surface, only to be repelled by subject matter. The feminine colour palette and ‘My Little Pony’ feel to the works are absorbing – which contrasts to the starkness of the monochrome collaged elements of rubbish bins, pylons and trash. The concept of my work is how these overlooked elements, ruins, gleaned from the everyday world around us could reveal a ‘truth’ in a world of hyper consumer capitalism imagery.
What medium do you use in your practice?
My main medium is painting, and collage. I use drawing as a preliminary tool for sketching ideas. I have an inner urge to draw sometimes but I wouldn’t say it is the core to my practice. I use a mix of acrylic paint and sometimes a little splash of glitter in my work to get the effect I want. This creates a tactile background for me to layer collage onto the painting. I use my own photos, so you could say photography is also a medium that is essential to my practice.
What motivates you to make work, who do you believe has influenced your career & inspired you to start?
What motivates me to make art is the state of the current consumer society we all live in. I want my work to act as a catalyst to encourage people to reflect on the world around them. I am also inspired by painters such as Cy Twombly, Joan Mitchell and Chantal Joffe, and hope to be able to have the opportunity to paint large scale one day. My late Grandma is also a huge motivation for me to make work, she was an artist herself and always encouraged me to pursue art and believed in me.
My influences come from all over. Books I read, I recently finished John Scanlan’s ‘On Garbage’. He talks about trash in relation to consumer culture, philosophy and art, which I found hugely interesting. I am midway through reading Julian Stallabrass’ ‘Gargantua’, which was written in the 90’s and gives a strong opinion on the ‘manufactured mass culture’. Moreover I find fiction and films influential, notably ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy, giving a stark dystopian picture of a dark apocalyptic future that could be.
If you could pick one; what is your favourite piece of work, that you have created, and why?
My favourite piece of work changes all the time, which I am sure is the same for a lot of artists. Right now it is ‘Moths i’ (pictured below), which is actually one of my most recent pieces. It really captures for me what I am trying to achieve in my practice and concepts. It is springboard to new work – I want to push the work further!
If you can name one, what is your proudest achievement?
From my perspective I would say my biggest achievement so far is putting on a group show with my Fine Art peers, at BEARSPACE and Number3London, Deptford, 2014. We all worked so hard together to pull the show off, and I think it looked so great in the space and the whole exhibition was a success. My work was also selected to be shown at an art fair in Athens, with Lubomirov-Easton Gallery earlier this year, which I was so chuffed about.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
The studio itself!! I am so grateful to have a space to think, create and realise my ideas. I love the freedom to be creative in the way I choose and make the work I want. It is so valuable to have the opportunity to have this avenue of my life open and available to me. More practically I do not know where I would be without my journal to write ideas and sketches, to do lists and reflective notes and thoughts!
Where is your favourite place to see art?
London has some amazing commercial, non-profit spaces and museums. However, for me I do not have a ‘favourite’ place to see art, it really depends on the artist or exhibition the space are showing. Any place can have a fantastic show with incredible art, and vice versa, a fantastic place can have a dreadful show. It depends on the artist, the work and the curator. Shows that stand out to me from memory are ‘Body Language’ at the Saatchi in 2013; the Stedaljk Museum in Amsterdam has a wonderful collection of work and I recently saw Tracey Emin’s ‘My Bed’ at Tate Britain which was so powerful. In Paris last year I saw artist Armund Jalut’s solo show at commercial gallery Michel Rein, which was mind-blowing. I keep an eye on social media and online listings for new upcoming shows.
You can view more of Anna’s work and get in touch with her below.