When Annie-Rose Fiddian-Green went to art school, she was taught how to break down the principles of her work, exploring how to convey the emotions she felt, which led to her work becoming more dynamic and physical, depicting linear forms that move gracefully throughout the pieces. The colour palette Annie uses echoes the release of emotions, pervading her practice and providing a clear statement of her intentions. The artist was working monochromatically before the lockdowns of 2020 turned her eye towards the vibrant hues she implores today, which were manifestations of joy, during a time in which joy was hard to come by. These sentiments were compounded by a trip to Brazil, where the colour and culture inspired her to paint with such alluring composition. In fact, in her work, you can see the very essence of Brazil through the earth, collected in Brazil, which is glued to the pieces. Annie’s work is a depiction of the raw emotion of humankind, in a state of joy and vibrancy, whilst maintaining the distinct feeling of being grounded. The works at SuperGlue21 possess these intimate portrayals of the artist’s experiences, which draw from nature and present their audience with pieces that commands attention and consideration.
SuperGlue: Could you please tell us a bit about your journey to become the artist you are today?
Annie Rose Fiddian-Green: I’ve always been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. I was always in the art rooms at school and was lucky enough to have some really inspiring teachers who encouraged me to keep doing it. I have also grown up in a family of artists; my father sculptor, my mum is a ceramicist, so I’ve been around art all my life. I took a real shine to portraiture from when I was really little and I was drawing portraits from the age of ten. I was taking my first job doing commission work around fourteen or fifteen. It was only when I got to art school at 18 that I sent started to move towards more abstract work, but I have always kept my portraiture going and that’s like one of the foundations of my work. At City and Guilds, I quite literally started doing these massive, abstract, crazy physical drawings which had figures and faces emerging out of them. I was breaking things down whilst I was studying. I got there with a series of principles and art school helped me break them down and take new directions. It was tough but it also allowed me to start working more emotionally. When I was at school I had an accident and I damaged my foot and I was on crutches for ages and as a result kept my work fairly small. Then as I healed, started making more physical work and by the time I was sort of skipping and dancing again, I was making these huge, very physical pieces that were very much about release. And yeah, I think since then the linear, dynamic lines that you see in my paint work and my drawings really stem from that work.
SG: The colour scheme of your pieces is a really striking feature of your work. Could you say something about this, especially in relation to this outpouring of emotion and release?
ARF-G: Colour is so important in my practice and always has been. I worked very monochromatically for a very long time when I was at art school. I think actually this past year, going into the first lockdown was when I really started to return to, you know, explosive, expressive colour again, probably because I felt we needed a bit of joy. Initially I was really responding to the spring last year, when we had those amazing warm days and I was lucky enough to be in the countryside, in which there’s yellow fields and blue sky. Then I went to Brazil, which is such an amazingly tropical country and whilst I was there, I was inspired by the color from the people, the language, the dancing, the coast, the plants, the fruit, all of it. So colour became even more entrenched in my practice. Then I tried to bring that into the grey January of England and it kind of faded for a bit.
SG: Although your works are abstract, there is a sense of landscapes and the natural, did that develop during your time in Brazil as well?
ARF-G: That’s always been there, but it wasn’t really intensified in Brazil. I mean, I was doing landscape work in Norfolk last year and I’ve always looked to nature and the land; I’ve been brought up in the countryside, so maybe that’s kind of filtered into my psyche. But I think the sense of freedom, of movement, of connecting with nature is essential within my practice. I think the grounding feeling of being in nature is a feature of my work because I use a lot of earth in my paintings. The earth I use came from Brazil. I was in a jungle and there was this incredible red earth that was sort of coming out of the ground and I thought I have got to use as my paintings. It’s so delicious that I bagged up a load of it and brought it back to England. Now I use it in a lot of the painting so you’ll see it in in a lot of my work. I think that it echoes my relationship with nature and the importance of grounding, especially in the time that we’re living, where anxiety is really, really high.
SG: What do you think in terms of collaborating? How do you kind of see it? What do you think can be gained from it?
ARF-G: I’m super excited about the prospect of a group show. I mean, it’s really great after the year we’ve had. As artists we’re can be fairly solitary in what we do, so it’s really nice to one meet other artists who are similarly interested in texture and movement. It’s exciting to be showing alongside other artists and meeting them, talking about their ideas, throwing it around and so that’s really cool. I also think it’s a really great way to connect people from all over London who have different perspectives and more different phases.
SG: How has this past year affected your work?
ARF-G: On the one hand, it’s been incredibly amazing for my work this last year because I was let go from all my part time work in London and I moved out, which meant that I had to solely focus on my painting. It was the first time in my life I gave myself 100% to it and I think I’m grateful for that because it’s been a really successful year for me, not only creatively, but I’ve had a lot of shows, and I’ve made a lot of work. Had it been different, maybe I would have carried on doing all these other jobs and not really giving art my full attention. On the other hand, I love meeting other artists and being able to go into the cities and be inspired by shows, people, food, and all of these things that obviously have not been happening. So, it’s been solitary but in that I’ve also found a real magic in.
SG: What have you got coming? Is there anything you want to promote?
ARF-G: I’ve just finished a really big project for a new venue that’s about to open up in London Shepherds Bush, called the Pheonix. I’ve just done all the artwork for the inside there and it’s gonna be a funky music and food venue that’s opening in July. I’m excited about Brainchild festival, which is a festival I’m very close to my heart. I’ve worked closely with it over the last few years. I’m also I’m doing my biggest ever installation in Brighton in August.
SG: How do you relate to glue?
ARF-G: Literally glue? Well, I wouldn’t be able to use my earth pigment without it. I use bog standard PVA glue to bind the pigment to the canvas. And I wouldn’t be able to function actually without glue, because it’s how I put my canvases together. But yeah, maybe I need to use glue even more. I mean.
Keep it glued.