Meet our host: How Ana combines her PhD thesis to get creative

February 9th, 10:53 am

1- Where does your passion for the Archaeology of Leaves come from?

My work was always inspired by the details of the objects we encounter in our everyday lives. Seven years ago, during my master studies, I started focusing on the variety of patterns present in nature. I became very interested in leaves and I studied their specific shapes. After creating a series of artworks related to the inner leaf structures, I started to collect actual leaves and intervene on their surfaces. This is how I came up with the Archaeology of Leaves project.

2- Do you use any other natural elements to create your own art?

The natural elements that I use in my art creation are dried leaves. I combine them with different art materials, such as watercolour, acrylics, ink, pencil, etc. Sometimes I even use different coloured cotton strings and sew patterns by hand on the paper and leaf surface. All of my artworks are mixed media and I enjoy experimenting with different materials.

3- As a nature lover, do you have a special inspiring place to paint and draw?

There are many inspiring places ranging from urban spaces to mountain ranges and seascapes. Every place has its own magic. Whenever I go on a trip or hike I usually bring my sketchbook and a mini watercolour set, pencils and some other materials because you never know what you are going to discover. Based on those small works and exercises I later start working on some bigger works or series of works at my studio.

4- What references come up to your mind when thinking of land art?

The first artist I think of when talking about land art is Andy Goldsworthy who uses different natural elements and has beautiful leaf land art creations. Among other artists working with leaves, I would highlight the work of the German artist Susanna Bauer and the American artist Hillary Waters Fayle who both make small installations using real leaves and sewing techniques, the embroidered leaves created by the Australian artist Meredith Woolnough, and many others. Many artists are inspired by nature or use its elements in their creative process.

5- What are your next goals in your artistic life?

I am currently working on my PhD thesis dedicated to art-science relations. As soon as I finish it I would like to continue developing some of my bigger projects and ideas in collaboration with scientists and experts in different fields.

6- What advantages does a virtual platform like onsite.fun bring you?

Onsite.fun is a great place to share my knowledge, ideas and artistic process with teams of different people who maybe aren't experienced in the art or familiar with different art techniques. Now we have the opportunity to do this online which is much easier and allows us to overcome the distance barriers.

7- What would you like your attendees to take home?

I would like them to relax and fully enjoy the art creation. The aim is to show them that they don't need to have special art skills or be able to draw well to create something beautiful. I hope this activity will help them develop their creativity and set their imagination free while enjoying this unique experience.

8- What are the advantages of doing this activity in groups as opposed to doing it individually?

I would say the advantage of group participation in this activity is the possibility of doing something different together with your colleagues and workmates, outside of the routine. This may create different bonds inside the group, let people spend time in a different context and let them become more familiar with each other's skills and maybe even discover some new skills that they didn't even know they've had.

Find Anna’s activity here: Archaeology of Leaves

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