About the Artist
Originally from Belgium, Ann came to live in Ireland in 2005. Coming from a traditional background where artistic dreams were something to be pursued ‘on the side’, for many years her creativity remained what it was: a hobby.
In 2009 she decided to stop waiting for the ‘right time’ to fulfil her childhood dream and set off on her creative journey, studying an Arts, Crafts and Design course at McEgan College Macroom, followed by a Professional Painting course at St. John’s College in Cork, to finally graduate in 2015 in Applied Arts – Textiles at the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork. The first to graduate in that direction ever!
Since 2017 Ann is working full-time as a self-employed artist. Inspired by nature and centred around emotions of loss, love, grief, hope…her practise is a never-ceasing journey of exploring materials such as rope, paper, yarns… and favours traditional processes like hand-sewing, -stitching and -weaving. Her textile work has been exhibited nationally and internationally as far as Japan and Ukraine.
Being confined at home during the lockdown, I was given the time to (re)focus on the beauty of where I live – a rural area in West Cork. Drawn to moss and lichens, while exploring and interpreting these tiny organisms, their purpose, their meaning, their colours and textures… I became more and more conscious of nature’s power and ability to regenerate.
Despite being physically separated, people displayed a similar resilience and ability to revitalise themselves and others by singing on their balconies, clapping in the streets, performing from their homes… tiny rays of hope, testimonies of how, in times of need, small things can have a big impact and how each of us and the way we behave and interact with others impacts ourselves, the people around us and eventually ripples even further than our immediate surroundings.
These gloomy times made many of us look through our own biases, our lives and our challenges from different perspectives. I believe more than ever that traditional skills such as weaving and embroidery, passed from generation to generation, need to be kept alive in today’s day and age where everything has become mechanised or computerised. For that reason, I deliberately work solely by hand, using only Irish yarns, nurturing a slower pace of life and a more conscious way of living and working, merging traditional techniques into contemporary, abstract artworks.
This work is all about going back-to-basics, appreciating and embracing the small things in life, while the colour palette of greens represents hope, growth and harmony, inspired by the Irish landscape and nature’s resilience and ability to recover.
What are your “Treasured moments” & how do you connect it to your work?
Because of the pandemic so many people (re)found the importance of positive interaction and connection with others. Therefor, my treasured moments are the tiny rays of hope I have witnessed amidst the doom and gloom of the pandemic: people singing on their balconies, people clapping in the streets in solidarity with the frontline workers, children waiving at the windows of a home for the elderly…
As we all slowly go back to ‘normal’ and the pandemic subsides, this solidarity between people should not be forgotten or dismissed. These treasured moments are all around us, on a daily basis… slow down, and you’ll see them, feel them and let them touch you. Like so many people I found the time to rekindle my love of gardening, of being in nature, with nature which gave me in turn inspiration for this series of work inspired by the ‘small things’ that surround my life.