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Anne Monk, artist profile

Anne Monk ~ Repurposing the Past

Jun 1, 2018
by Sharon Feissel

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Anne Monk assembles mirrors from a carefully curated collection of ephemera from other times and places, gleaned from thrift shops, yard sales, and family attics. She is fascinated by the idea that we are all connected to each other with only 6 of separation and, by extension, so are the objects that populate our lives.

Anne comments, “That means that every item used to create my mirrors and shrines is connected to you by a chain of six or fewer friends, relatives. or random acquaintances. Just imagine, that tiny glass cat from the 1920’s might have belonged to the little brother of your grandmother’s bestie, or the copper button may have once adorned a jacket worn by the boyfriend of the sister of your mother’s childhood milk man, or the ceramic flowers may have graced the vanity table of the counter girl who sold perfume to your next door neighbor’s grandfather and danced at your great auntie’s now legendry wedding.

“I believe that something essential to the nature of the whole is preserved within every repurposed fragment in my mirrors and shrines and that, as a result, countless human stories are woven together in new and wholly unexpected ways that include your story now too.”

In addition to mirrors, Anne makes small shrines as a lovely way to focus attention whether it is mystical, spiritual, sacred, or pragmatic. She says, “My teapot shrines are especially dear to me, because during my childhood my overseas grandparents sent parcels redolent with the intoxicating scent of black tea. The parcel and the ensuing hot cup of tea conjured up vast interior worlds of wonder and adventure. So in the strangely convoluted way of childhood, tea and teapots have become hopelessly and forever entwined with a tangible sense of adventure, distance, longing, and presence. Somehow a tea shrine seems a fitting receptacle for such qualia.”

Anne tells us, “A lot of work goes into each mirror and shrine, from finding and preparing the backing to selecting its central piece(s), choosing and cutting the pottery and other bits and baubles, gluing, grouting, finishing, and fussing, etc. Any given piece can be a full week’s work.”

Anne is one of the artists in the featured show entitled, There’s No Place Like Home, currently atRiverfront Art Gallery, 132 Petaluma Blvd. in Petaluma, CA. For more gallery information, please go to riverfrontartgallerycom. Closed Monday & Tuesday.

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