In 2015 I completed a short residency at The Big C Gallery in Bilpin, NSW, and Yuri and Rae Bolotin introduced me to the Gardens of Stone. The Aboriginal occupation of these places dates back at least 65,000 years. It is a special place that must be preserved.
In my recent work I have wanted to draw attention to the necessity of saving this magical place of First Nation Heritage. I have used discarded wool blankets obtained from Opportunity Shops and I have carefully cut and dyed the blankets responding to the colours and contours of the landscape, I have formed the layers of cloth around pieces of broken stone resourced from the ruins of old colonial buildings. The cloth strata embrace and engulf the stone, nature is reclaiming its land.
Anne’s work is always about people, their habitations and their things; she makes portraits about the real or imagined history of places and of people and assembles installations attempting to distill something of the subject.
Anne collects tools, culinary implements, measuring devices, combs and brushes; all of these things relate to some kind of repeated human activity. These sounds and the rhythms of these activities are part of everyday life and the ordinary objects we use to order our world.
Anne Graham at work in the studio
My research interests focus on an investigation of identity and space, this interest began in 1994 when I was awarded an Australia Council Studio Residency award for the Green Street Studio, New York. During this period I investigated the impact of the textile industry on different communities in Manhattan with a focus on women.
I was particularly concerned with creativity and its role in the formation of identity. I enlarged this focus to look at the mnemonic function of objects and materials as constructors of identity.
I pursued this study at a local retirement village. I interviewed many of the residents and used photographs and text to create portraits of the women and their possessions. Most recently I was awarded a residency at the Konsthallen in Sandviken, Sweden to make portraits of creative women living in the region. These portraits were intended to embrace many aspects of the subject’s life but they were also intended to have universal applicability so that the viewer might feel that these works also resonate with their own life.
Anne Graham, The Gardens of Stone, 2020
Recycled woollen blankets, dyes,wood, painted steel bases, Courtesy of the artist and Kronenberg Mais Wright, Sydney
Artist Statement: In 2015 I completed a short residency at The Big C Gallery in Bilpin, NSW. Yuri and Rae Bolotin introduced me to the Gardens of Stone. The Aboriginal occupation of this place dates back at least 11,000 years. It is a special place that we must preserve. Activities such as off-road driving and mining can destroy this heritage. I want in this work to at least begin to draw attention to this magical place. I have used discarded woollen blankets, rubbish I suppose from our affluent society, to draw attention to, as Charles Darwin said to: “Nature which is a power incessantly ready for action and is immeasurably superior to man’s feeble efforts as the works of nature are to those of Art”.
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2. ANNE GRAHAM
Links to Anne
228 Megalong Place,
Mobile: 0409 361 975
Landline: 02 6355 2016