Biography / Artist statement
Anna Woodward (b. 1998) is a London-based artist. Woodward’s work is inspired by Renaissance period paintings depicting Greek mythology.
She is currently focusing on the play ‘Antigone’ by Sophocles. The Renaissance paintings represent the drama within these stories, with dynamic compositions and rich colours. Anna uses a number of different paintings that depict the myth for sources, to then create a collage on Photoshop that breaks down classical structure and figuration and creates contrasts between scale, composition, figuration and abstraction. Anna then works from these to create large-scale paintings constructed in layers, using a variety of mediums: oil, gouache and acrylic. The paintings start with a layer of gouache, blocking in colour and mapping out movement. Then acrylic paint is used for the floral patterns to intensify the placement of colours and black/grey structural lines breaking through the work. For some time now, Woodward has been developing the use of organic floral forms to apply a different painting language when recreating classical paintings. She is interested in breaking down the barriers between the decorative and the fine arts. She sees the floral and feminine forms as a different language of abstraction as opposed to being purely decorative. In this layer, the acrylic is built up and overlaps with changes in scale to create depth. In the final layer, oil paint is applied in glazes to push back areas and for the floral patterning. The oils create a unique, opaque effect as they sit on the surface. Anna Woodward also set up the artist-run project space Artisan Space in April 2019 in Putney. Over the first ten months she curated a number of exhibitions working with a variety of different artists. Woodward also set up The Artists Contemporary, an instagram forum that helps to promote emerging artists work through interviews, exhibition promotion, studio visits and takeovers.