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Brighton Journal | 28th January 2020

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Artist of the Week: Annabel Wyatt

Artist of the Week: Annabel Wyatt
Elizabeth Richardson

This week Brighton Journal spoke to Annabel Wyatt, a local artist who paints figurative work and portraits in her Brighton studio. Annabel’s textural application of acrylic and oil creates compositions that you almost want to touch. We discussed how much of Annabel’s work draws upon social politics, and how living in Brighton has broadened her artistic opportunities.

What are you doing today?

Today, I’m actually at my day job on my lunch break! I work part time so that I can carry on with my arts practice whilst still having a financial buffer. Not glamorous, I know!

Describe where you do most of your creative work.

My studio space in my front room. I use a large pane of glass to create prints, and paint canvases on easels.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve worked on?

Having my artwork displayed on the walls of coffee shops and restaurants is really exciting, as it’s an accessible display to take friends and family to see. I’ve also worked on group shows which are great too, as you put together something completely new based on everybody’s old work!

What made you decide to become an artist?

I felt like my practice became more “legitimate” when I started making artwork more regularly and created my website. Although you could say we’re all artists on some level?

What are you currently working on?

I’m making new prints all the time, and I’ve got some Christmas cards I’m working on. I’m also making new textile work on my sewing machine!

What are the key themes in your work?

I used to work around figurative representations of empowerment, power and strength… Now that’s leading towards ideas surrounding privilege, shame and anguish.

What would you like people to notice about your work?

For me, I personally love playing with texture against simplicity. If people noticed that aspect, that would be great. However, simply noticing my art in itself is something I’m very grateful for.

What attracts you to the medium you work in?

I’ve always worked with thick paints, whether that be in acrylic or oil. These paints can both work together in unison or repel each other, but either way they consistently create gorgeous textures you almost want to touch.

What equipment could you not do without?

I do love a pallet knife, and my pane of glass of course!

Who or what inspires you?

I’m always driven by people watching. I’m also drawn to social politics, and the politics of how people relate and communicate with each other.

How is your work affected by living in this area?

There are so many more opportunities down here. Other than having to dance around people’s classism, it’s been a place where artwork in general is widely accepted and encouraged.

What’s your favourite thing to do locally?

It might sound a bit boring, but definitely hanging out in any gorgeous local coffee shop with my sketchbook, pens and of course…cake!

What’s your favourite gallery (or place to see/experience art)?

I’ve seen some very good work recently at the De La Warr Pavillion, Victoria Miro and ONCA. I also love the Louisiana MoMA in Copenhagen.

If you could collaborate with one artist, from any time, who would it be and why?

To be honest, myself and my artist friend Johanna Cragg have developed a really nice working relationship, so she’d be great to collaborate with. I’ve also worked on a couple of things with Lauren Hayes and Hiroko Lewis too, so I have to give them a shout!

What’s your favourite colour?

Beige or grey… Greige?

To find out more about Annabel are her artwork, check out her website and social media pages:

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