Originally from the Coleraine/Ballymoney area, Anna studied in Carlisle and Cardiff and after a couple of years of travelling she returned to live in Belfast. Initially she found herself working in the theatre, TV and film industry as a props maker and scenic painter. After over a decade Anna decided to return to making her own work and got herself a studio at Conway Mill but it wasn’t until 2017 that she properly fell back in love with ceramics.
Anna works as a ceramics and mixed media artist. She works on a range of sizes making small figures, functional vessels, and jewellery at one end and large-scale figurative, sculptural works at the other. Starting with stoneware crank, Anna exploits the expressive nature and sturdiness of the clay through a combination of hand building and press moulding, often incorporating contrasting textures. These are derived from directly manipulating into the surface of the clay, applying slips at different stages and a variety of glazes, often layered, conjuring up the rich aesthetics of erosion and corrosion that in itself suggests a story, a timeline.
Choosing to use the human form as the basic foundation onto which she builds narratives, Anna explores the projection of an identity and the power of body language, even the most subtle. These narratives can evolve throughout the whole making process, there is rarely a definitive plan of how a piece will end up.
Another common element of her work is mixed media, attached at the end of the making process, including old rusty metal, parts of dolls or costume jewellery. This provides another contrasting layer of texture, context, or form, be it representing a body part or a character affirming prop.