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Annalene Rowland

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Born in Co.Antrim to a family of crafts people on my father’s side and mental health nurses on my mother’s side. I have my father’s hands and my mother’s nature.I also inherited my father’s dyslexia which as a child felt very much like a curse, but now i feel like it is a blessing as it has given me the patience and empathy  to understand the difficulties people face when learning new skills, how it impacts their day-to-day lives, their self-esteem but more importantly how we can overcome many hurdles with the right support and expectations.

As a child, I spent my days drawing, making dresses for my dolls and dancing to the record player. As an adult I carry the same interests with perhaps just a few more bells and whistles.

I obtained my BA Honours degree in Manchester in 1999, I was always torn between fine art and design. I remember my art foundation tutors arguing over what way I should go. Ultimately, I took the design route simpily because I came from a practical family that talked about practical careers. My degree course was Three-Dimensional Design where I studied wood, glass, metal and ceramics and as my work developed I leaned towards conceptual sculpture and my final degree commented on the Northern Irish conflict whilst utillising the medium of clay.

I see myself as a multimedia Artist, who thrives on using whichever medium I deem best suited to deliver my vision or concept. The medium very often determines my working practice. For example , in ceramic, my practice would come about via handcasting, and slabbing.

My work is very often sculptural and based on whatever is occupying my mind at the time. I often pick out easily idenitfiable objects and change the way you might look at them by adorning them with unlikely additions or using a play on words. Ultimately my intention is not to impose my opinion on others but to raise awareness of the subject and arouse feelings with myself and others.

My practice changes constantly, during the lockdown,  I concentrated on writing and illustrating a children’s storybook. More recently I’ve been teaching ceramics to adults with intellectual disabilities. What drives my practice now is being open to possibilities and crossing things off my creative bucket list.