This Week We Invite: Ann Povey
My work is inspired by memories of my childhood and simple domestic objects. These memories have formed the way I think and feel and the way in which I work. I work with metal and clay, these are hand-built, forming utensils, tools and vessels, and with found objects.
The objects, often small and insignificant, are the physical aspect of my childhood. Tools, utensils, cutlery and even decorative items, the things we use and see every day are often taken for granted. These objects relate to the spirit of place, no matter where that place may be.
I have learnt not to disregard simple emotions and not to discard simple items, all have a place and a story to tell.
Describe a typical day in a couple of sentences? I have chosen a weekend day as Monday to Friday I am at work and those days don't reflect my own personal practice........ Wake up, usually early as the body clock gets used to that, shower, feed and clean out hens, walk the dogs. Breakfast, then down the garden path to the Studio, work with metals or enamelling or hand building porcelain vessels, until lunch, 30mins or so having coffee and lunch in the kitchen with Mike and the dogs. Back down the garden to the Studio until late afternoon 5-6pm. Wine, cook dinner......
Tell us a surprising thing about you? I'm not sure I have anything that is very surprising to tell. I jumped off the Sky Tower in Auckland in New Zealand last year, once the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. I did have a rope tied to me though! You land on a mattress! Also, I'm undecided whether to get a very tiny tattoo when I retire this summer.
In your studio – what’s the first thing you see? (be honest- I can see an empty packet of chocolate digestives!) The first thing I see, (I purposely look at it), is a beautiful drawing of Billie, (drawn by my daughter) my lovely Border Collie who we lost last November, she was 17 years old and had spent 15 of those years with us. I always thought she would spend her time with me in the Studio as she loved the old shed, but she died before the Studio was completed. She is there in spirit.
Which artist living or dead would you like to meet and why? Otto Kunzli, he is a living Swiss Professor at Munich's Academy of Art where he teaches on one of the World's most prestigious Contemporary Jewellery courses. His own practice is a complex conceptual body of work that is hard to tie down to this period of time. His work is spread over a period of four decades and reached its height in the 80's and 90's. However for me it is the most inspiring body of work I have ever seen, it has rigour, ambition, and emotional content. It touches on relevant issues of the time it was conceived and he is not afraid to explore contentious subjects. I also love the work of Jo Pond (who I have met very briefly) and Samantha Bryan, (who I haven't met).
Cats or dogs? Dogs, love them. Cats are great though and we've had a few, but not at the moment.
Name your idle pleasure? My idle pleasure is Movie watching. Thrillers, Historical, Blockbusters, Hollywood epics, disaster movies, Action and Adventure.....the lot.
Recommend a book? I'm reading Philip Pullman's "La Belle Sauvage. Vol 1. Book of Dust" at the minute, as I loved his trilogy...."His Dark Materials". I also loved the "Miniaturist" by Jesse Burton.
What helps you to focus? Ummm! What helps me Focus.... a deadline is pretty good, especially if its looming up quickly. A project, a challenge, I need to be 'on a mission'. I hate being stuck in a rut and I hate doing things over and over and over, so the majority of my work are one off pieces.
What would your top tip be for the year – to yourself or to others? Set yourself a challenge, but .... although it needs to take you out of your comfort zone, it all needs to be achievable. There is nothing worse than continually failing at something. Do something that scares you, at least once a day.
What are you looking forward to in the next year Retiring and becoming a Full Time Designer Maker.