Tell us about yourself. Where are you based and where do you get your inspiration for your work?
I’m a happy hermit living in Gauteng with my husband, three sons and an assortment of pets. I live and breathe art and find inspiration everywhere. In my mind, living life and making art are not separate entities.
Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?
My best ideas surface just before I wake up in the morning. I trust my gut and write them down. Then I go for a jog and afterwards enjoy good coffee on the couch with my family before I hit the sanctuary of my studio. Paulo Coehlo said ‘First comes discipline, then comes inspiration’. I live by this motto.
Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
I love our countries’ great variety of artists; from Henk Serfontein’s charcoals to Vusi Beauchamp’s expressive colour to Heidi Fourie’s delicate brushwork.
I don’t care for trends, but rather each one’s unique voice.
How is your work relevant in a South African context? And globally?
My works are reflections of observations, both physical and emotional. It starts as personal musings, which I try to connect with universal concerns. These ideas and events are grappled with, underlined and aim to inspire discussion. I hope the viewer feels an echo in their own being when they look at my work, regardless of their country of origin.
What do you think South African artists can contribute to the global art market?
A unique blend of cultural influences and a strong work ethic.
What do you think of the StateoftheART Gallery Award as a platform for emerging artists in South Africa?
It is a great idea and opportunity.
How do you think selling art online and marketing through social media is valuable?
I’m not really experienced in selling art online, so I can’t comment on that part of the question. I do love Instagram though!
While in Los Angeles I watched how the other artists used Instagram not only as a ‘portfolio’ tool, but as a means to build social networks with other artists which is an important but often neglected aspect of an artist’s life.
How do you feel about the upcoming group exhibition and the other shortlisted finalists’ works?
Excited and flattered to be included with such a great group.
Do you have any plans for the coming year?
I have an overwhelming urge to travel. I think the artist residency in Los Angeles this year burst the dykes I built after having kids!
If you win the Gallery Award, tell us about what you have in mind for your solo exhibition in 2019?
I have been working on a series of work in between other exhibitions and commissions. The theme is our illusions of control and the recurring motive those orange ‘vlêrkies’ we learnt to swim with as kids.
Anna-Carien studied at the University of Pretoria. There she received her Fine Arts Degree, bagged the handsome husband that fathered her three sons and developed a life long passion for filling sketchbooks with drawings of strangers. This habit of watching people explains why her work is and always will be figurative.
In 2017 she was grateful to win the South African Portrait Society’s ‘Living Portrait Master Competition’ and not the ‘Dead Portrait Master Competition’.
Anna-Carien contrasts realism and abstraction in her work because she believes this best portrays the layered and complex world around her. Moving between calculated planning and the thrill of spontaneous or accidental experiments invigorates her. She explores alternative surfaces to draw on - evening gown net, wood, hair, kiln-fired enamel and Perspex – but always returns to her passion for the messiness of oil paint. It makes her feel like an alchemist.