ann russell

Hi, thanks for dropping in!

I am a mixed media artist, using a range of media in a variety of ways. I make mainly indoor sculptures which people describe as ‘tiny worlds’. These worlds range in size from around 10cm (about 4 inches) in any direction to more than a metre (around 40 inches). The little worlds could be described as surreal narratives and incorporate dense detail in the form of combinations of many different materials including doll house miniatures, wire, wood, fibre, beads, charms, textiles, polymer clay and artificial and dried vegetation. Often I use clear resin as an embedding medium, which adds to the world’s depth and detail. Usually the worlds are enclosed in glass, like bell or other jars. As well as serving my purpose of compressing memory, time and space, this makes the intensely textured worlds easy to care for as decorator items.I also work in 2 dimensional mixed media, often combining my love for the beautiful colours of watercolour with intense visual and tactile surfaces. Almost always I use layering, stitching and sometimes beading to create the works.

As the song says, I come from the Land Down Under and draw a lot of inspiration from the natural environment in Australia, particularly the colours. I take my cues from nature in terms of colour combinations: intense blue with bright orange red, emerald green or sulphur crested cockatoo yellow and white, and like to set myself a minimal palette to work with whether it be for 2 or 3 dimensional work. Being such a large land mass, Australia is blessed with an incredible range of habitat and environs, and these will often be incorporated into my work. For instance, a recent exhibition was entitled ‘Rock Pools’ and featured many contained ‘worlds’ in vessels of a variety of sizes. I am also intensely interested by forests of all kinds, especially our rain forests. These ancient places exude mystery and magic and have a life and spirit of their own: indeed another world. I have ventured a small way into the Southern Ocean – a wild, magical place with creatures whose origins go back to Gondwanaland. I try to capture these metaphysical ideas in my work. Much of my work also involves exploration of feminist issues using surreal narratives, archetypes and fairy-tales, often in combination with ‘Mother Nature’. I enjoy hearing from viewers of my work, that they can spend hours looking at a piece and still discover new things, or that they want to somehow crawl into the space I have created.