Papier Mache sculptures have been exhibited in many galleries and Anita has taught Family Learning Courses in papier mache at Richmond Adult Community College, Strawberry Hill House, Richmond Young Carers and at mental health institutions. She has created workshops at many schools, given private lessons and given various areas of tuition in art generally. Here is the artist in discussion:
What inspires you?
‘I was inspired by the Linares brothers in Mexico, Mexican retablos, Frida Kahlo, Antony Gormley, dioramas and the Impressionists for their use of human form, space, perspective and brightly painted backgrounds. I am mesmerised by the sea, how exciting it is and how artists portray its vibrant shades and hues coupled with its shape and texture. I have also found the web a fascinating place enabling me to see galleries and get resources at the touch of a button. I previously worked for 10 years as an art buyer in my twenties and sourced photos and illustrations in advertising. There I discovered the art of creation as well as the nuances of marketing.’
What attracted you towards ‘the sea’ when you started creating?
‘I spent all my summers, as a child, beside the sea (and in fact still do). I still spend lazy hours collecting shells, finding driftwood, sailing, rowing and biking along the coast. I feel most relaxed, most happy and most safe in this sanctuary where I spend weekends and holidays. Its a beautiful place to create, to socialise and to dream. I guess it was natural I would incorporate such a happy place into my work.
A selection of questions from an interview with the artist:
Why do you express yourself through art?
I am a visual learner and have always been excited by images whether they are artworks, splashes of colour, photographs, theatre sets, vibrant exotic clothes or jewellery. I love collecting bric a brac whilst appreciating the ensemble of mixed colours, shapes and textures. I have always adored art, but had not experienced much variety at school, where there was an old fashioned approach. To go to college as a mature adult and discover mixed media enabled me to create fantastical images in my mind which I could then bring to life. I constantly have projects in my mind or in the making. It is absorbing as I whittle away hours of my time enjoying myself. How marvellous is that.
Have you ever felt misunderstood?
No more than the average human. We all have our inadequacies and feel we could do better. However I am thrilled with this medium, its versatility and the constant discovery of its endless potential. I love sharing the skill and teaching. I always have some art to do. I am never at a loose end. Paper mache absorbs you for hours.
Do you appreciate your own art?
I feel proud of what I have achieved. When contemplating my finished pieces I feel content. The medium is very forgiving, You can go back and redo the work or repaint until you are satisfied. I believe in providing the best service for my customers both in communication and delivery. Every piece needs to work with content and perspective, this is where doing a design helps. I know that what I do is unique and my creations spring from my own imagination which gives me pride in my work. Each artwork is original and a one off.