British artist Ann Carrington studied in Bourneville College of Art, in Birmingham and The Royal College of Art graduating in 1987. She has received various awards including The Herbert Read Award (in 1988), Commonwealth Fellowship for Sculpture (in 1992). What is more, in 2010 she was invited by the United Nations to create artwork that would raise awareness of current issues. And she was also commissioned to create The Royal Jubilee Banner for the Queen in celebration of her diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Her work is so detailed and delicate, there’s something mysterious about them. Looking at the work I constantly want to learn more; what’s the story behind it, what is this made out off, how did it come into existence?
The first work that caught my eye was ‘Galleons and Feathers’, which is made out of old pearl necklaces that Ann has collected through her vintage obsession, and created majestic boats. She watched a Chinese documentary about pearl jewellery and decided to make this galleon out of pearls. The ships are named after two pearl factories in China; White Cloud City and Wing Wo Wave.
The Royal Jubilee Banner, 2012
The Shell Ladies on Margate beach, 2008
She was commissioned to make a project for Margate sea front and created these life sized shell ladies. Having acquired some shell ornaments in the shape of Edwardian ladies she got inspired to re-create something similar, since nowadays these souvenirs are imported from China. Each shell lady has been named after a famous women of Margate like Baroness Orczy and Phyllis Broughton.
What I find the most interesting part of her work is how she gives new life to mundane, everyday life objects; such as forks and coins. This is fundamental to her artwork, she transforms the found or discarded objects into spectacular works of art. Similarly Paul Smith puts his own special spin on his classic, tailored clothes.
I’m really glad to have discovered the work of this extraordinary British artist and will be looking forward to her future creations.
Photos: Courtesy of Ann Carrington