Title: His Power, Her Pain
Dimensions: width: 43cm, height: 100cm, depth: 5cm
Notes: mixed media
Country: United Kingdom
Ann trained in fine art at Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem and in art education at Goldsmiths College, London. From the mid-1990s and through a wide variety of residencies, art teaching and leadership roles, Ann tutored and mentored students of all ages, many from disadvantaged groups. Her A Level and GCSE students consistently attained some of the highest marks in the country. Before her highly productive career as an artist and educator, Ann ran animation studios and won numerous international awards, including two golden awards at the New York Film Festival.
Ann’s prolific creativity has been a constant throughout her career – over the last 20 years she has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, one of her sculptures has been displayed in the foyer of the V&A, and she has delivered numerous commissions. Her passionate concern for environmental sustainability and renewal and a keen sense of justice continues to drive all her work: the luminous beauty of endangered plants is captured in her watercolour and inks; the concealed beauty of found manmade objects is drawn out with novel embellishment or through quirky juxtapositions; Ann’s mosaics reference long-standing folk traditions of reclaiming seemingly discarded fragments to make beautiful new objects, and she confronts longstanding and keenly felt personal, environmental and global injustices in paint, sculpture and mixed media.
‘His Power, Her Pain’ draws together Classical and Victorian references with centuries old conventions that dictate how war should be commemorated. But it addresses highly contemporary concerns about how the voice of women has been silenced by the male dominance over matters of politics and war. Men fighting for ‘Freedom’ and dying with ‘Honour’ leave mothers, wives, sisters and daughters
imprisoned without a voice. If ‘greater love hath no man than this’, men must relegate or discard their love for the women in their lives, taking decisions regardless of those that are most affected – the countless and voiceless communities who are united in despair across geographical and political boundaries. The women bear a colossal burden of care and fear, but cannot affect any meaningful change. They know how things should be different, but they are never heard. The watching, idealised and conventionally rendered heroine is influenced by Anna Lea Merritt’s 1883 painting ‘War’. The elements applied to the surface are the senseless brutality that she fears but cannot see. Some are literal, like the bloodied bandage, while others are abstract like the slashes, canvas strips and the ribbon that refers to the valueless ribbons on medals. The backdrop is marbled like the veins of truth that run through propaganda. The whole story tumbles, as if bleeding, from a frame that represents an arch through which a viewer sees the farce that is playing in a ‘theatre’ of war.