|Anya Keeley: 'William' from Dark Tales exhibition Llantarnam Grange 2014|
A creator and curator of curious creatures & whimsical wonders, Anya Keeley creates one-off contemporary artefacts using found objects and reclaimed materials. Imagined flummeries a Victorian explorer might encounter on his travels to far off shores which he would bring home and display in vitrines and mahogany cabinets.
Anya is based in Herefordshire which no doubt flavours her inspiration and curiosity about the natural world and her love of nursery rhymes and fairy tales - it's a county rich in folklore. Her workshop is packed with finds such as animal bones, vintage kitchenalia and sugar tongs and Oxo tins crammed with collected words & phrases which may one day find themselves in a piece of work.
Anya's clever use of found objects is drawn together through her wire working techniques (usually brass or iron wire is used). One such method is to create a metal skeleton onto which a skin of vintage card or papier mache is applied. For such a solid material Anya's use of wire often has an unexpected delicacy which shows in her finished collar piece.
The final collar piece shows no evidence of this textile object being out of place alongside Anya's usual materials of choice. There is no stumbling over the 'male' connotations of this collar. The blue collar has been treated as a flat plane - it's colour & texture forming the impression, and essence, of sea water on which the tale of The Missing Ship rests. The lettering on the collar could be forgotten words which have found their way out to sea only to settle on on the seabed amidst the stories of shipwrecks. This unadulterated blue collar has been transformed into a platform for explorations and adventuring to take place!
"The Missing Ship
Drifting along in the pale moonlight
On the murmuring waves
All is lost"
Anya keeley on madebyhandonline.com