Anja Loughhead is a Canberra based visual artist working predominantly with photography and performance. Her work explores the manipulative and constructed nature of photography, its history and relationship to painting. Anja is currently a student at the Australian National University and has recently completed her second year of study. During this year she has exhibited in the Czech Republic alongside artists Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Didier Courbot and Peter Fitzpatrick in a group exhibition Bread & Salt, curated by Amande In and Michal Novotny.
Artist statement: Tools of Transgression
Tools of Transgression is a series of documented performances in which I undertake three specific activities: drawing, sewing and learning English. These tasks not only relate directly to the Red Riding Hood quilt, but have also been seen frequently throughout the history of art.
Women have been depicted within the domestic interior sewing and drawing by window light since 18th century painting, through to the 70s feminist movement when the idea of the feminine was celebrated and re-defined. These documented performances explore the symbolic and physical nature of these tasks, whilst also attempting to place an emphasis on process, rather than a finished product.
Title: Tools of Transgression
Medium: video (sequence of 3)
Date: September 2011
The piece is inspired by the Red Riding Hood quilt, specifically the efforts of an Australian woman named Valerie Paling. After the end of WWII Paling travelled to Germany to work for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. During her time with the organisation, Paling encouraged the displaced men and women to pass the time by developing skills such as embroidery, painting and learning English. These three performances are my interpretation of these tasks.
Artist statement: Drawings from the Pencil of Nature
Drawings from the Pencil of Nature is a series of constructed portraits, examining the ties between those who colonised Australia and the land itself. By drawing from the aesthetic principles of both Pictorialism and Romanticism, the images act as an allegory for the colonialist history of Australia as a nation.
Title: Drawings from the Pencil of Nature
Medium: fibre-based photographs
Date: September 2011
These photographs were inspired by the Springfield collection, specifically the portraits of Lucien and Lillian Faithful. Within the Faithful family archive there is a strong connection to the land and also agriculture, I felt that their personal history was one that could lend itself to a broader, national history of colonial Australia.