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Interview for the Boynes Artist Award

PHOTOGRAPHER ANNA MAEVE: AN EXPLORATION OF WOMEN

Nov 21

Written By Chantal Boynes

Congratulations to Anna Maeve for earning her place as a Winner in the Boynes Monthly Art Award [October Edition]!


WHO ARE YOU?

I live a pretty simple life in New Zealand, near the beach and nestled in some mountains. I have no formal arts background but I feel everyone is always creating something, we naturally do it as children. Not to be cliche and quote Picasso but, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”


WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO UTILIZE PHOTOGRAPHY AS A MEDIUM?

I like experimenting with all mediums, sometimes a message you want to convey comes out great in one medium and not another.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ARTWORK?

Sometimes I am trying to convey something and sometimes I just want to make something that’s nice to look at. I don’t feel my art is in one single category.


CAN YOU DISCUSS THE INSPIRATION AND THOUGHT PROCESS BEHIND YOUR WINNING WORK?

I have been reading and watching a lot of media that has women struggling at the centre of it, it seems to be a theme with a lot of stuff released this year. I wanted to challenge myself into conveying a woman's struggle in an abusive domestic partnership without necessarily showing violence. I still wanted the work to give the viewer pause.


CAN YOU DISCUSS THE "WOMENS SERIES" SERIES AS A WHOLE?

It is a sequential work, the first piece having the subject sit in front of a mirror - feeling that first loss of sense of self identity. Moving on to the subject in front of the window - here she is putting up a front to the world, trying to go about her life normally. Lastly, we have the subject trying to break out of the relationship.


WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO COMMUNICATE TO AN AUDIENCE WITH YOUR WORK?

I feel sometimes there is a toxic narrative that victims have to be perfect in a sense, because society can’t comprehend that victims can also be messy, and still be a victim. The focus should still remain on the crime committed against her.


CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE DURING THE PROCESS OF CREATING YOUR WORK?

That things don’t need to be perfect, sometimes when lighting or something doesn’t go how you want it, you just have to say, this can be good enough.


CAN YOU DISCUSS YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS SINCE STARTING YOUR ARTISTIC JOURNEY?

You can always say to yourself I will feel successful when I’ve done this exhibition or won this award but I feel it’s enough to be satisfied that your work is out there and that someone has enjoyed it.


CAN YOU GIVE US A PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN AT THE START OF YOUR CAREER?

Rejection is fine, learn to let it not bother you.


WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON CURRENTLY? CAN YOU DISCUSS THEM?

Coming up to the silly season I’m more doing projects out of fun and relaxation. Just doing whatever comes to mind and seeing if I can create something out of the idea.


WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT OR PIECE YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH?

I would absolutely love to do a collaboration with a fashion brand, something like Teddy Fresh. I really respect and love what Hila does with the label.


AS A WINNER, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ARTISTS WHO WANT TO SUBMIT TO AWARDS, COMPETITIONS, RESIDENCIES, ETC.?

Just keep doing it, if you believe in your work you are bound to find a home for it somewhere.


LASTLY, I LIKE TO ASK EVERYONE WHAT ADVICE THEY WOULD GIVE TO THEIR FELLOW ARTISTS, WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE?

Don’t do it for anybody else, and don’t try and make your art fit into what you think will work/sell for a particular thing you are submitting to. Be true to yourself.


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