Anna Griffiths is a visual artist born in London, England, based in Ottawa, Canada. An early dance career lead to late university studies, a Master’s degree in English literature, two years teaching in Japan and a career in communications. Growing from childhood was also continuous art-making that eventually became a consistent self-directed practice and the focused outlet for her creativity. During the two years she spent in Japan, she was really drawn to the mind-bending wonderland of its cultural paradoxes, particularly between hyper-reverant traditionalism and berserk pop art eclecticism, which continue to influence her thinking and aesthetic. Her work can be found in private collections in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, England and New Zealand.
ARTIST STATEMENT: The worlds I create reflect the constant flux of meaning and psychological balance as our demons and angels, agonies and joys, confusions and convictions jockey for dominance. I use candy colours and playful imagery to depict darkness as well as light, and challenge efforts to keep them apart in the hopes of achieving some unbroken state of happiness and understanding. I also use my work to highlight and smash gender stereotypes, beauty myths, and wonder at how we manage assumptions about advancement and decline, power and vulnerability through various stages of life.
My process mainly involves digital collage and manipulation of freehand drawings, paintings, photographs and found images. I love collage because it offers so many options for cross-fertilization, unexpected turns of meaning, and harmonizing the chaos without neutralizing contradiction. I’m also interested in what kind of bigger picture mixing and remixing discrete elements reveals, relating especially to our desire to distinguish the thing in itself from its derivative or imitation.
For show and sales, I print the final pieces on aluminum or watercolour paper in limited series. I’ve also created shadow-box paper dioramas that bring my layered approach and narratives into yet more relief.