Exhibition 57 – Anna Reading

Exhbition 57: Anna Reading. The Lands of the Free?

Anna’s work deals with issues around anthropocentric perspectives and the subsequent impacts upon environments, bodies, and human psyches. Her work looks to more-than-human life forms for lessons in survival within hostile settings.
When invited to create a work for the specificity of a flagpole, I wanted to situate the work within the landscape for which it would be shown. The work is based on a walk along the flood plain of the river Welland, running South of Uffington. The walk was an attempt to explore a landscape where the notion of free-ness(?) could be explored through flow, flux and entropy. During the walk, I encountered multiple examples of entanglements; sheeps wool wrapped around fences, grasses caught in seed heads, creepers entwined around branches, sedges matted in mud clumps. All of this material stuck-ness was activated by sunlight and a healthy breeze. My sculptural intervention explores what it is to be entangled, both as a restriction to movement while also a support system.
I am drawn to the contradictions inherent within the notion of the ‘Free?’ and what that means in terms of a ‘Land’. In an attempt to physically deconstruct the official fixedness of a flag, the work features materials which playfully interact with the weather, a sun-reflective rigid aluminium flag shape, and protective roofing felt tendrils to be activated by the wind. The notice board features a woven roofing felt and metal textile, entwined with loose materials collected along the River Welland’s flood plain.

Anna Reading is a Newcastle-born artist, now living and working in London. She holds an MfA in Sculpture from the Slade School of Fine Art (2017) and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Central St Martins (2010). Reading is the winner of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2018-19. www.annareading.co.uk