Categories: Inspiration-Trends - Anna Church, Sculptographer

‘In the littlest of details, the best visual soundbites happen. I love venturing into grungy parts of urban environments. The textures and layers, the plants — it all gets thrown up at you.’

New Zealander Anna Church is a respected stylist and visual artist with an international career based in Toronto, Canada.

Tell us a little about your background and the work you do. I’m a sculptographer (a sculptor and photographer). I’m married to a super man and we have two pretty cool kiddos. I trained to be a chef straight out of school, but that wasn’t for me. I went on to train as a graphic designer, but left that to pursue a career as a freelance interior prop stylist, which I enjoyed doing for many years.

I feel I’ve always been an artist. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been crafting, re-purposing, living in my active imagination and creativity. It’s only in the last eight years that I’ve called myself an artist, although it’s something that’s developed over my lifetime.

I’ve chosen a career where play is okay, although it’s hard work, too. I’m grateful my work and playtime can successfully coexist.

How would you describe your aesthetic? What attracts your eye? I’m an interior environmentalist, hunter-gatherer, and eclectic composer.

I’ll drool at the characteristics of an old abandoned piece of furniture, and the perfect flea market or mid-century find holds far more appeal than something straight out of a catalogue. I love to decorate our home with indoor plants.

Categories: Inspiration-Trends - Anna Church, Sculptographer

I’m also very much attracted to and appreciate a modern, well-crafted design piece – something which will age well & be timeless for years to come.

What can you tell us about your creative process? I like to find things that are ordinary but that can become extraordinary the more you look at them. My craft is about looking, observing, arranging materials. It’s about attaching a social commentary or context to them.

I never really know where I’m heading with a new series or project. I have an inkling of where I’d like to start, and I know when something is finished, but along the way, there are lots of diversions, dips and weaves. Getting out of the studio and immersing myself in experiences and conversations really helps.

Where do you get your inspiration from and who do you admire? In the littlest of details, the best visual soundbites happen. I love venturing into grungy parts of urban environments. The textures and layers, the plants — it all gets thrown up at you. And then, as if in direct juxtaposition, I find inspiration in visiting sleek, high-end boutique stores, beautifully fitted out restaurants, and of course in copious amounts of gallery visits and in trawling the internet. Each environment brings so much interest and spurs further visual investigation.

Categories: Inspiration-Trends - Anna Church, Sculptographer

What are some major career highlights that stick out for you? Selling my first piece of art, exhibiting in my first show and then watching a progression of similar events unfold. My zebra sculptographic artwork, ‘The Botanist’, was a headlining element in the New York Affordable Art Fair’s campaign recently, which was pretty cool! Making people feel happy, hearing their joy when they discover my art and how much they love living with it, that’s a continuing highlight for me. That kind of feedback never gets old!

Can you share any golden wisdom for aspiring artists and designers? To quote David Bowie, “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

Categories: Flora + Styling-Blooms of the week - Flowers by Blush

What’s next for Anna Church? Honestly, I have so many ideas brimming but not yet complete. But that’s okay, that kind of unpredictability excites me! I have to believe ideas will keep coming, even when I feel the tank is empty some days. I’m in this artistic journey for the long haul and I’m looking forward to being old and grey-haired and still doing what I’m doing now. By the time I am an old artist, I will have relocated to New York and my grown-up kids will have no excuse not to come visit me all the time!

You have been living in Toronto with your family for some years now. What’s Toronto life like? Finding comfort in the unfamiliar, creating new connections, experiences and opportunities. Getting the lay of a new land has been an adventure!

Living here has allowed my art to be viewed by a whole new audience. I’ve had the opportunity to have my art exhibited on an international scale, in New York, London, Miami… I could never have imagined this three years ago. It’s been quite the journey and I’m enjoying the ride!

Anna Church