For those of you who don’t know about her already, Ann Winder-Boyle began working as an artist after having found her father’s old childhood books and other items such as inscribed letters and photographs, following her mother’s death. These very intimate and personal events of her life inspired her to become an artist and have undoubtedly remained a recurring theme through which her entire oeuvre is filtered through.
“My art form initially developed as an emotional and therapeutic response to a period of personal distress, and has developed and progressed to explore the link between expectation and our sense of fulfillment.”
Winder-Boyle is a mixed media artist who works mainly with second-hand books to create tactile, evocative works of art. She incorporates different aspects of her medium such as the books with their age and numerous layers, along with beeswax to produce her own subversive illustrations, which at first glance appear to have come from early children’s literature.
Working parallel to the brittle, old books the beeswax by nature, works both as a preservative; capturing the image as a way of reflecting a captured moment in time, but also a metaphor for the fleeting, transience of youth. The unpredictable, serendipitous medium of beeswax is connotative of the loss of childhood innocence and the fragile and ephemeral nature of time. The nostalgic use of beeswax gives Winder-Boyle’s work an overall sense of irresistible nostalgia, that is both soothingly comforting and at the same time ambiguously unsettling. The internal narratives and ‘moral of the story’ like style Winder-Boyle uses, which is ever popular in children’s literature, is utterly charming however, it is often a paradox to what can be described as a more sinister undercurrent. The theme of childhood in art, is almost always laden with darker connotations but in Winder-Boyle’s work, they are subtly incorporated into the imagery, giving them complex meaning and depth that is reflective of the books and the history they are made on.
Winder-Boyle combines bold illustration, with delicate collage and typography for perfect results and the interplay of post-modern humour and pathos make for a great work of art. The size of the pieces suggests the personal and intimate themes which are critical to one’s understanding of the works. Furthermore, the minute dimensions force the viewer to look closely and inspect each detail carefully, whilst considering the meanings and symbols within the illustrations. Her use of line is graphic, yet understated and the subject matter is handled with great sensitivity. She faultlessly employs exquisite, minimal tones that enhance the imagery and the witty titles complement the playful tone underlying her art.
Winder-Boyle has recently begun working on a series where she is adapting her illustrations into wire figures, which are then mounted onto old books. Although she is developing into a more three-dimensional artist, the figures are still familiar and these sculptural works remain evocative of memory.
Winder-Boyle’s works of art are consistently pleasing to the eye and never cease to be emotive. As an artist Winder-Boyle, does not dictate to the viewer what emotions they should be feeling, on the contrary, the emotions the works conjure up are down to the interpretation of the viewer.
The talents of Ann Winder-Boyle have not gone unnoticed, having been featured on BBC 2’s Culture Show and selected for the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition for three consecutive years her art has been recognised and continues to be appreciated…so if you get the chance, you should go and appreciate her work too!
These are her exhibitions dates for 2010 and early 2011:
- 13thNov – 8thJan, Winter Exhibition, Porthminster Gallery
3 Fernlea Terrace, St Ives, Cornwall
- 18thNov – 21stNov, Edinburgh Art Fair, Gallery Perutz
Edinburgh Corn Exchange, Edinburgh
- 27thNov – 28thDec, Christmas Cracker, Byard Art
14 Kings Parade, Cambridge, CB2 1ZA
- 28th Oct – 30thDec, All I Want For Christmas… ,
Rostra and Rooksmoor Gallery, 5 George St, Bath
- 5thDec – 11thDec, Art Bizarre,La Galleria Pall Mall
30 Royal Opera Arcade, London
- 2ndJan – 20thFeb, Mixed Exhibition, Byard Art
14 Kings Parade, Cambridge