We are so delighted to have Bondi based Anya Brock as a new artist at our Sydney AW15 market. Today, we chat with Anya about her bold and bright artistic practice, and learn how the fashion industry lead her to the beautiful world of painting.
How would you describe the style of your work?
I would say I’m an abstract expressionist in the body of a figurative painter. I use colour and mark making to express different subject matter. My work is usually ridiculously colourful and bold but simplistic in composition.
What is your background and what lead you to where you are today?
I actually started in fashion – studying fashion and textile design and then owning a label for 6 years. I attribute the somewhat clean design based aesthetic of my work to this. I worked in London for Christopher Kane and Richard Nicoll before realising that painting provided a more honest form of creative expression for me. From there it’s just happened very organically.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I look a lot to the abstract expressionists from the 50’s such as Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, and I’ve always enjoyed Brett Whiteley’s way with contrasts. Generally I find myself deeply researching a person or a time and tying to feel what was felt. For me it’s about constant experimentation, visually and emotionally.
What mediums do you like to work with?
I work predominately with acrylics and charcoal but lately I’m experimenting with aerosols and oil pastels. I also use pen and ink for illustrations.
Describe your workspace and surroundings and what your creative process is.
My workspace is always absolute chaos. Hahaha. Unless I’m moving studio, then it’s clean for a few days. I enjoy the mess, I think that’s probably what the inside of my head is like. I like casting everything out then trying to make sense of it all.
I have pretty different processes for different kinds of work. Most of my work, despite looking quite flat requires a bit of layering. So it’s about applying an underpainting then going over and tightening things up or dripping paint over work. I like to work on an action / reaction basis, in that I generally have no idea how it’s going to come out. I get bored too easily if I know how the work should look in the end. I want the accident, then I want to find the solution. Then I get high on that new feeling I’ve discovered.
What advice would you give others wanting to follow a similar path?
I think don’t get too caught up in the result, just focus on the work and the process. That’s where the deepest satisfaction will come from, not any achievement. I think being preoccupied with the notion of “making it” is an incredibly unsatisfying way to live.
What has been your favourite project/collaboration to work on?
It’s always what I’m working on now or next. Which for me is nudes. And actually the nudes I did a couple of years ago still excite me. That work probably speaks more to the woman in me.
What can we expect to see from Anya Brock at the upcoming Sydney Markets?
I’ll be selling a selection of printed product including cushions, coasters and tea towels and also unframed prints. I’ll probably bring a few canvases as well as it’s nice to see the tactile nature of the original works.