Back to All Events

Artist Talk with Anna Walker

  • SVA, 4 John Street Stroud (map)

Breathe wind into me Anna Walker.jpg

Introduced by Dr John Cussans.

Anna Walker is an artist, writer and researcher working in multi-media. She has been exploring trauma in her art's practice for many years, researching how the body responds to overwhelming traumatic and stressful situations and how it reorganises itself to cope with or manage it. The experience of trauma creates a tension in the body that ruptures the functioning of 'normal' memory schemas, whether in an attempt to forget or an effort to manage the memory. 

In a recently made video: 'Breath Wind into Me, Chapter 1', Anna took the research on trauma, memory and the body, back to the beginning, to the breath. Starting with Merleau Ponty's concept of an 'immense exterior lung', the intention being to find an alternative approach to rethink the past and confront uncomfortable truths. This project builds upon the past 7-years of arts practice research into trauma and memory, and the challenge trauma poses for individuals, societies and cultures. Through video, text and sound, the work is an investigation of the interaction between states of knowing and not knowing, acknowledging and the refusal to acknowledge. It is  also an endeavour to illuminate the relationships between previously unrelated events, structures, perceptions and actions to explore cultural trauma, social responsibility and political action. 

Anna was awarded an MA in Fine Art from Southampton University in 1998, and a certificate in Psychotherapy from CBPC, Cambridge, in 2010. An interest in the effects of trauma on the body, developed during her work as a psychotherapist, led her to a PhD in Arts and Media at Plymouth University, which she completed in May 2017. Her arts-practice balances the auto-ethnographic with the critical, utilising personal experiences to facilitate a greater understanding of memory, trauma and its wider cultural implications. 

Bodies of work include:

Fragments of a past - 2005 – 2011: An installation of black and white photographs collected over the past 7-years from market stalls and auctions.

The Dead : a Sound Piece for 'ARTIST ROOMS: Gerhard Richter - Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery; September 2015- January 2016. Made for '48 Portraits.' 

Ghosts (2016) is the final piece of moving imagery and sound from PhD research Six Fragments, a memorial to the twin towers.

Walk and Walk (2015) is a sound piece, which uses the echoing voice, repetition of language and word games to explore the concept of flashbacks and anchor the fragile position of remembering a traumatic event.

Broken (2017) is made up of fragments of sound and phrases of movement from the rehearsals of 'Inevitability of Change.' I wanted to describe the difficulites of connecting as a relationship falls apart. The work describes the dissolution of communication networks, and the conflict and frustration that arises from misunderstanding.

£5 on the door.

Anna will also be available for studio visits on Saturday at a fee of £20 for 45 minutes.


Earlier Event: September 20
Artist in Residence : Milligan Beaumont
Later Event: September 25
Ear Smoke / Sizzled Snoggers / Deerhart