At first glance, Ann Christopher’s elegantly understated sculpture seems to be tied to a series of simple formal decisions and aesthetic concerns about shape and surface. However, her making process is much more complex and instinctual. Once a basic shape is chosen and a template constructed – often out of material as humble as cardboard – it is built up using resin, giving depth and texture to the form before casting into Christopher’s metal of choice and further worked laboriously by hand. Later, precise machine milled linear incisions are made to create a tension with the delicate hand finished surfaces.
Integral to this process of making by instinct is the stimulus and fascination Christopher draws upon from a broad range of visual sources: from soaring skyscrapers and modern architecture to rugged coastlines, plant structures and ancient artefacts. These broad ranging visual enquiries and inspirations bring both a fearless modernity and an intriguing primitivism to her work, drawing upon the natural and man-made world, the past and the present; not into collision, but into seamless harmony.
“My work is very much a visual diary of my physical and emotional life, an expression of some of the visual experiences stored in my subconscious. Unlike a computer I cannot search and find - the images emerge seemingly at random, it is only once these visual experiences appear in the works that the origins can sometimes be retraced”
Despite their slenderness of form, Christopher’s work has great strength and presence whilst still inviting peaceful contemplation. She remains dedicated to the artistic principles established in the Sixties by artists such as Sir Anthony Caro: that a sculpture can be considered a mysterious monument or an abstract ‘presence’, without being directly descriptive.