Anna Davies

Anna Davies
BA (Hons) Fine Art // Leeds Arts University ’20

Anna is a Leeds-based sculptor and kinetic artist. Her practice is a material-led investigation of personal life experiences, and takes the form of a series of ongoing autobiographical sculptural objects. In this sense, her work also exists as a record of highly personalised subjects and events.

Each specific work explores a particular thought or burden experienced as a woman growing up in the millennial generation and is a material response to the shifting parameters of moral, sexual, ethical or gender-related codes of behaviour experienced by women. Strong themes that reoccur in Anna’s practice are sex (specifically casual sex) and the implications of this on women.

Anna uses domestic objects as the basis of her sculptures in relation to the social and historical construct of domesticity and gender. Inspired by object-oriented philosophy, she finds it important to think about the relationship and distinction between the object and the human. Materialising the idea that objects have an agency beyond human capacities, and therefore that objects hold the potential for multiple interpretations. She animates this through mechanical and kinetic technologies in order to represent gestures and movement in relation to gender.

“Though young women often get labelled as crude or accused of oversharing for discussing sex, I hope to start conversations about sex that could de-stigmatise these topics. I explore the audacity of sexualisation and the objectification of women in even the most everyday situations. I use objects from the realm of the home in my sculptures in relation to gender and domesticity in order to directly illustrate these gender roles we feel pressured to fit into today. I work with a conversation between two or multiple components, usually involving balancing and/or a push and pull.

After reading Nell Dunn’s Talking to Women I was shocked by how relevant these conversations that Dunn was highlighting in the 1960s still are for contemporary society today. The debates with Dunn’s text echo my own experiences and those of my close female friends. Subsequently, my work critiques this and highlights the importance of addressing the deficit. Aren’t you just exhausted by the same old shit?”

Anna has been involved in a number of exhibitions in and around Leeds, as both an artist and curator. During lockdown, she has volunteered to run an art club at a local primary school, and also participated in online residencies. This year has also seen her win the Sunny Bank Mill’s One’s to Watch People’s Choice Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize.

annachardavies.wixsite.com/home
anna98davies@gmail.com

An Act of Performance (One Night Stand)
Scuba diving fabric, wood, batteries, lightbulb, bricks and motors
Dimensions variable
NFS

Why Get Complicated? You Know You Wanna Turn Me On.
Repurposed table, foam, latex, denim, linear actuator, wood and batteries
200 x 180 cm
NFS

Education

2018 – 2020
BA (Hons) Fine Art, First Class Honours, Leeds Arts University.

2017
Art Foundation Level 4 Diploma, Distinction, Cambridge Regional College.

Exhibitions

2020
Ones to Watch, Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds (Postponed due to COVID-19).

2019
Uncanny Alley with Now Curation, Wharf Chambers, Leeds.
Release, Leeds.
Support and Motherhood, The Joyce Frankland Society’s International Women’s Day Celebration, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

2018
Goose, Leeds.

Residencies

2020
Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds.
ORBIT Instagtam takeover
Lighthouse Collab Instagram takeover

2019
Bronze casting residency, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden.

2018
Bronze casting residency, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden.

Awards

2020
Won the People’s Choice Prize in Ones to Watch at Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds. Received £100 and a month long residency in their onsite studio.
Shortlisted for Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020. ​International Art Prize for the bestemerging artists​ who show significant potential, interesting ideas, a relevant messageand skillful execution.

2019
Shortlisted for Auxiliary’s Sonic Arts Emerging Artist Exhibition Award.
Winning entry in Leeds Arts Fest with like a piece of meat.

Other Experience

Press

2020
Interviewed for a feature in Pink Trolley Magazine. ‘Perpetual Over sharing: Sex and Rage’.
Interviewed by Sunny Bank Mills as part of their online blog

2019
Featured in Frankly Speaking, International Women’s Day Zine.

Curation

2019
Member of curatorial team for Little Women exhibition.
Member of curatorial team for Goose exhibition.

Volunteer Experience

2020
Volunteered at a primary school during lockdown running an art club. Making thank you NHS cards to post to a local hospital and a banner to hang outside the school.

2019
Ran a recycled objects sculpture project at a primary school. Melting bottle tops collected and attaching them to chicken wire to make a 3D life size peacock for their entrance hall. Emphasizing the importance of recycling and reusing aswell as encouraging the making of 3D work.