Anne Stansfield is a multi-disciplinary artist, focusing her talents in oil paintings and multi-media work. With various shows already under her belt, Anne sat down to chat with us ahead of her work This Object is Read being shown in the Chameleon Open.
Who are you, what is your primary medium, and what is your background as an artist?
My name is Anne Stansfield, I come from Bolton in Lancashire but now live near Lincoln. I am
currently studying for an MA in Fine Art at the University of Lincoln.
My background as an artist is short-lived; I graduated in Fine Art in 2018 and have been
successful in producing multi-media work on various residencies; have shown films in Leeds
and London; and exhibited photographic work and oil paintings in group shows in Nottingham
How have your life experiences influenced your artistic career?
Life experiences that have influenced my artistic career started early (as with most artists). As
a child I was happiest making things – drawings, paintings, making clothes for myself and my
dolls. In various jobs I was required to have a level and range of creative skills, and I
maintained hobbies in photography, textiles and watercolour painting.
I started a part-time BA in Fine Art at the University of Bolton and completed my studies in
Lincoln. Initially I thought of myself as a watercolour painter but university re-introduced me to
other materials and methods; this tapped into my childhood and work experiences. So, if asked
now what my primary medium is, I would have difficulty answering.
Tell us a little bit about the work you've submitted to the Chameleon Contemporary Colour Open. What does your work aim to say? What inspired you to create your pieces of work?
The work I’ve submitted to the Chameleon Contemporary Colour Open is on the face of it quite
a simple piece; it is a red, painted square.
The work aims to say that artworks in general are not superficial; they have a history, an
artist’s intension, the context they are exhibited in, and then whatever the viewer brings to it.
The inspiration for this work was a small jar of Cinnabar pigment that I’d owned for some
years. I wanted to celebrate the hue; recognise the hazards and toil of the colourists making it;
and I wanted to highlight the pigments geological origins as well it’s ancient art historical
I want people to feel joy in front of the coloured square but also think a little more deeply
about it; as hinted at by the title; This Object is Read:
it is created in volcanoes
it contains toxic elements - mercury and sulphide
it has been used use for millennia and can be seen in paintings from ancient China through to
its replacement is vermilion – a cheap but chemically exact replica
the pigment is expensive, rare and hazardous to use
the work is painted onto metal – another product of the earth
it protrudes from the wall – more like an object than a painting
it references abstract art, especially Malevich’s, Black Square
red communicates on an emotional level (love for example, or luck in China)
red is used to signal a danger
red carries political meaning
What is your favourite part of the process?
My favourite part of the process is working out concepts based on the sites that I am working
in, or in this case the exhibitions subject - colour. I like to make work that it is sensitive to the
context where it will be shown and be relevant to the viewer (though I may not always
What, or who, has been the biggest influence in your practice?
Lots of different artists have influenced my practice – the list would be endless, but
contemporary artists like Mark Wallinger and Marcus Coates and the theatrical work of William
Kentridge are important; the portraits of Alice Neel and German Expressionism also affect me.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Conceptual, contextual, relational, sensitive, fun.