Published on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
Anna Morgan is an interdisciplinary artist working with papermaking, sculpture, drawing, and poetry. She recently completed the Aunspaugh Fifth-Year Fellowship program for studio art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she received her BA in Studio Art and Psychology. Anna exhibited at Welcome Gallery in November 2019.
In the Working from Home series, Charlottesville artists are sharing about their work and life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we're hearing from Anna Morgan.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Richmond and I graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Studio Art and Psychology in 2019. I’ve just finished a fellowship year in UVA’s art department and am excited to take the next step in life, wherever that may take me! I am an interdisciplinary artist working with papermaking, shadows, drawing, sculpture, and poetry among other things. In addition to art, I love nature, mountains, being a queer woman, books, and language, and I am passionate about mental health and the environment. I feel more connected to the earth when I walk in the rain. I am endlessly curious about the world and its inhabitants.
How has the pandemic changed your daily life?
I’m typically okay with being alone, and straddle introversion and extroversion, though I definitely miss people more and more with each passing week in quarantine. I don’t have my job or studio, but I still make art, read and walk and write, think, contemplate. I call friends and family more frequently. I’ve really tried from the beginning to establish a routine that I can follow each day to create some semblance of normalcy. I’ve also begun going to bed and waking up earlier, which honestly has completely changed my life outlook most of all, creating a new kind of energy and light in my soul.
Has it changed your creative practice and/or the work you're making?
I am still working fairly similarly, but I think the shift in stimulation and circumstances has inherently altered my thinking and approach to making. So I feel my work shifting more conceptually than formally, or rather, the pandemic has allowed my the time and space to delve more deeply into the why’s of what I’m making. That said, I have been in a more experimental mindset, messing around with smaller works on paper—drawings and collages, which I may not be ready to show for some time, or ever. But it all feeds back into the same practice, a symbiotic relationship, a circulatory system that takes in ideas and inspiration and outputs art, or else even more ideas and inspiration.
Tell us about something you're working on.
I’m navigating how my practice will continue as I lose access to my studio and UVA’s resources and equipment. I’ve order a used food blender to continue making paper at home, along with various colored pigments. I’m really excited to play with colored paper, because it’s been something I’ve been nervous to undertake. I’ve used color with two-dimensional works on paper, but never so much with my sculptures. I feel like I’m in a good headspace to engage more with that now though.
What is inspiring you these days? Bringing you joy?
My family and friends. The kids living next door to me laughing outside at all hours of the day. Time and space to think deeply about my art and life. Spring. Trees. Morning walks. Podcasts. Meditation. Creaks and rivers. Reading more. Journalling. Writing poetry. Being outside.
What is something you've learned about yourself through your creative practice in a time of social distancing?
I’ve learned that my practice benefits greatly from thinking deeply, writing, and continually researching. This is something I’ve known more or less, but really having time and space to do this so extensively has emphasized and reinforced this knowledge. I was never one to sketch much, or doodle. I have always been drawn to words, to language as an art form in itself to bridge thoughts and art.
The opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the artist and do not necessarily represent the policies or positions of NCAI.
See more of Anna Morgan's work on her website here.
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