The work of artist duo Annie Nelson and Chris Woodward strives to offer alternatives to a fast paced society, interrogating our perpetual desire for quick fixes and fast solutions, whilst challenging the audience to move away from predetermined viewpoints. Through an interest in their environment, how it has been shaped both physically and socially, they explore the stories of people and places.
The resulting work is multi-disciplinary, utilising a variety of materials and hand craft to realise sculpture, installation and intervention. It often involves intense methods of working, repetition and process, such as Bollard Mandala (2015), 2000 handmade ceramic bollards or Bricks of Soap (2019) the production of 800 soaps cast live during their exhibition at Ty Pawb, Wrexham.
The duo considers the role of the viewer as pro-active and important, devising the setting of the work and designing the encounter. To this end they may ask the audience to play a part in the work in some way. Narrative also plays a key role in their work, sourced from historical research or audience engagement, this can then directly or in-directly influence an artwork such as Salvaged Stories (2018-2019). Their sculptural sand interventions Border Control & Welcome Matt (2016) created obstructions on a beach that diverted people's navigation. Although these physical obstructions could be simply stepped over or washed away they created psychological barriers that enticed the audience to reflect on the work beyond its initial pleasure.
There is awareness in the work of the conditioning of consumer's attention spans to be brief by the inherent quality of advertising. In using strong imagery, graphics, and colour the work entices the audience by giving them initial gratification whilst the painstaking making processes show a commitment to the importance of the subject matter and is in contrast to our throw away society.
Annie Nelson b. 1987, Leicester, UK
Chris Woodward b. 1987, Preston, UK
City and Guilds Carpentry & Joinery [A.N]
B.A. (Hons) Fine Art (1stClass), Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds [A.N]
BTEC Diploma Art and Design (Distinction) DMU, Leicester [A.N]
B.A. (Hons) Fine Art (2:1), Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds [C.W]
Diploma Art and Design (Distinction), Runshaw College [C.W]
Undercurrent, The Art House Wakefield, Also showcased as part of the Knitting & Stitching touring show at Alexandra Palace - London, RDS - Dublin & Harrogate international centre.
We Can Only See Today, Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham
This Season’s Must Have, Blam! Produzenten Galerie, Dortmund Germany
Selected Group Exhibitions
Out Of Bounds, Leeds Print Cooperative Gallery, Leeds
Leeds/Bilbao Residency Exchange Exhibition, Poca Gallery, Spain,
Wrecsam Art Vend, Wales
I Know You; You Can Come With Me, Oriel Wrecsam, Wales
Colonize Revisited, Arena Studios and Gallery, Liverpool
Colonize’ Jamestown, New York
Awards, Residencies and Commissions
Artist Reality, Nourish, YVAN (Yorkshire Visual Arts Network)
Akkyduck, Arts Council England Project Grant
Wakefield Arts Partnership micro commision
Ideas That Unify Us, YVAN (Yorkshire Visual Arts Network)
BilbaoArte Fundazioa, exchange residency
Inc. Workshop, Leeds [C.W]
Hove Festival Artist in Residence, Norway [C.W]
Orange and Green Skills for Sustainable Futures, Sustainable Design, Built Environment, Cordoba, Spain [A.N]
Enjoy Artspace, Artist in Residence, Leeds [C.W]
Cyprus School of Art [A.N]
Selected Curatorial Projects
Woolgather’s Art Vent, Arts Council England Project Grant
Woolgather Art Prize, Arts Council England Project Grant
Bring Your Own Art Weekend, Leeds
Woolagther’s Art Prize, Leeds
Corridor 8, Undercurrent, Karen Tobias-Green (Review)