Annie Ward, the recently elected Academician to the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Art (as well as a regular exhibitor at the Exeter Art Show) shares an insight into her work!

You seem to be a prolific exhibitor – how many pieces, on average, do you complete in a year?

I probably complete more than twenty paintings each year, but I often take time out from painting to work on sculptural constructions using paper, textiles and found objects. I find that working in this way helps with the creative process and gives me time to reflect on how to progress each aspect of my practice.

How would you describe your artwork and what motivates you?

My work is informed by a combination of personal memory and historic research. Something I’ve read will often trigger an idea or evoke a memory which then acts as an impetus for a painting or construction. I work in series with layering, distortion and erasure all playing a key part, referencing the often-fugitive nature of both memory and historic narrative. When painting I use a limited palette and fine layers to create sketchy, flattened abstract forms.

Two from your series of ‘Mapping of Memory’ will be on sale at the Show. Can you tell us a little about the series, what it inspired it and the message you are imparting? 

The Mapping of Memory series is about remembering places I visited as a child and how aspects of such memories can become distorted or exaggerated over time. I’m playing with topographical detail and elements of abstraction. They are schematic maps of those mutable spaces between land and water or eroding field margins. The doodled, scribbled lines act as inscriptions on the surface of the painting, as I question the existence of borders and boundaries.

You have recently been elected an Academician by the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Art – how do you feel about this?

I was thrilled to hear I had been elected.  My work has been selected for the Annual Open for the last few years and so I am very aware of all the good work that SWAc Academicians do here in the South West. I’m really looking forward to working with them in the future.

Why do you enjoy exhibiting at the Exeter Art Show?

This show is an important event for both artists and those who appreciate art. There is always something fresh to see or a new artist to discover. I’m excited not only to be exhibiting but also can’t wait to see what other artists have been working on since the last show.