Barrie West (Sunderland Artist)

7 September 2019

Art and artists (Mackie's Corner)

Anna Glover - Parta II


You remember Anna Glover don’t you? She is the artist who, about a year ago, took over one of the Mackie’s Corner units for a solo exhibition of her work. It was turned into what resembled a giant installation: all gold and lushness, sumptuous and extravagant, luxurious and enticing. Well, she’s at it again at this year's Sunderland Indie exhibition.

Anna had made it clear to me in a conversation at Washington Arts Centre, when she exhibited an anatomized accordion, that her roots formed both a motivator and an inspirational source for much of her work. And, that is where she has taken us again one year later, in a modest (in comparison to her solo exhibition) exploration of her childhood and adolescent memories in Slovakia.

We are looking at the role and the expectations placed upon women in society. And this is where things get difficult for me, a man, to understand how deep the cuts have been and how hurtful society’s bruises, in our contemporary world. We read about how the gentle lady should act and the value of decorum from Jane Austen, the headdress considered suitable for celebrations and how much time and consideration should be placed upon presentation. The message is as plain as the nose on your face and the theme is suppression, expectation and repression.

Inside every mask there is a woman trying to escape.

Three masks, and each one a delight of the skills of recycling and re-purposing, which had been learned at the knee of her Grandmother. She described for me the village she had come from and her family dynamics. So evocative, so supportive and wholly beautiful. The love, the care and attention is there, and it is coming out from behind the mask.

Barrie West (Sunderland Artist)

1 October 2018

Just The Way I See It

Anna Glover - Žena (Solo Exhibition October 2018)


One observation we could make about the 20/20 VISION exhibition, is that there is a large variety of genre, styles and subject matter being paraded in front of the folk of Sunderland.

Reflect a little on the forensic subtly of Dean Turnbull’s moth narrative and then take a couple of paces to Anna Glover’s huge “look at me” explosion of shape, form and colour. Yes, it is a room dominator and yes, it uses a bulldozer where others use a double 0 paintbrush, but hey, isn’t it magnificent!

Maybe this piece would have been better placed in a bigger venue, particularly when its companion piece is also shouting loudly for attention at the other end of the room; but this was all the venue we had! When Anna drew my attention to one of them, I saw immediately that one could not appear without the other.

They are not exactly a diptych and neither do they easily complement each other but they do need to be shown together. What one lacks the other provides. They are two members of the same family having a conversation, but between rooms. Sometimes one picture mishears what the other one’s saying and it has to be repeated; sometimes the voices get raised but they are still family.

We have cousin number one, a little conservative and the quieter of the pair but thoughtful and contemplative and we have cousin number two, flashy and assertive, out on the town while the other stays at home to watch “Question Time”.

Cousin one is not dower or dowdy but solid and dependable. The effect of metallic bronze says reliable when required and sensible in a crisis. Cousin two more of a flibbertigibbet sticking out a tongue to the world, dressed like a Rococo opera house strutting the Regency pavements. You would never believe we are discussing collages made from detritus!

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Susan Frenk sentiment