Anna M.R. Freeman

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Anna M.R. Freeman’s art contrasts with Eagle’s interests and methods in many ways – where his work is based on screen prints and motifs of urban culture, hers are focused on architecture and rendered with oil on hardboard. But she too explores the built environment as one of lived experience, accrual and remainders: she paints images of spaces that exude a sense of yearning, junk shops, opulent or abandoned spaces or church, dense to the point of abstraction. Rendering these images on solid, white surfaces, she uses a startling technique that emphasises the form and flow of the brush stroke. When I spoke with Freeman, she was working on a large scale site specific installation based on the baroque-looking Art Nouveau staircase in the Gustave Moreau Museum in Paris (Moreau was nineteenth-century French Symbolist painter), drawing from it to re-imagine the Biblical story of Jacob’s Ladder – the famous stairway to heaven. Often painted and completed in just one day, Freeman’s rapidly executed paintings are keyed to specific histories and locations whether cinematic, painterly, sacred or other. Her work is invested with a vertiginous sense that the past echoes into present sites and places.

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