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Annora Spence

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Born in 1963, Annora Spence is a graduate of both (then) Liverpool and Birmingham Polytechnics having studied Printed Textiles at both higher educational institutions in the early 1980s. On the conclusion of her advanced studies in the subject at MA level, Spence gained employment as a freelance artist and designer.

Since the beginning of the 1990s Spence has dedicated her time to engineering a career as a painter, and in the capacity of such has enjoyed the fruits of successful sell-out shows here in the UK and abroad. One of the areas in which Spence has excelled and gained a reputation for her innovative work is that of the origination and manufacturing of silk screen prints; something she’s been actively involved in since 1994 and where she works in collaboration with the highly regarded, Advanced Graphic studio. Racking up huge successes with this venture, Spence finds each edition of new work has sold out at an astonishing rate. Hope Sufferance Press have also been working in with Spence, who has started to manifest some etchings in association with the company.

Citing her globe-trotting adventures to India and Asia and extensive travels across Europe as definitive sources of inspiration for her art, Spence elaborates on this by inferring that certain characters personal situations and the colours that they envelope themselves in as instrumental to finding starting points to her concepts. Drawing and photography are then crucial in collating and optimizing the information she needs to conceptualize her pieces thereafter. The subtle construction of tonal and textured layers is key to Spence’s methodical approach to her art, and her typical palette doesn’t subscribe to any one particular hue or saturation persuasion, championing the application of intense primaries to melancholy pale tints.

There’s a rich vein of humour and potential comedy coursing through Spence’s signature compositions, and she likes to deliver her own sense of quirkiness to a noticeable percentage of her works to date. Most art lovers and collectors agree that there’s a strong narrative essence to Spence’s pieces, that often translate the story of a range of personable, charismatic individuals and animals who find themselves in often farcical situations beyond their comprehension and control. It’s the artist’s visual interpretation of the apparent relationships between these oft-eccentric characters, animals or birds that captures the imagination of Spence’s art-buying public and subsequently her paintings and prints can be found in private and corporate collections both home and away. In the artist’s own words her “aim is to explore the relationships between the often eccentric characters placed in situations that are comic and sometimes near - impossible." Scale is also an important tool for Spence, by reversing the scale; she feels the mood of the image can often be made humourous.

While illustrations for published titles, cards and calendars have formed the backbone of Spence’s body of creative work thus far, she’s also accepted and completed commissions for bronze sculptures too. As previously mentioned, animals tend to be omnipresent in Spence’s work (especially our canine friends) and whilst they’re portrayed in a compassionate, comforting fashion, this never overspills into sickly sentiment as is so often the case with contemporary artists. Spence’s silkscreen prints, etchings and mixed media paintings retain an integrity and innocence that cry out for your attentions, and underline just why the artist’s work has such a large and loyal following, and most recently there’s visual evidence of a slight change in direction with regards to subject matter that sees interiors gaining more canvas space. Time will tell how this pans out.