Annette Mills

My work is concerned with the haptic, with concepts linked to transitional space. Change and transience are inherent in the physical processes of my making and consequently guide and structure my decision-making. The random weaving of willow appears chaotic until, working with the dynamic and tensile qualities of the material, a potential form is suggested and a structure begins to emerge. The work in this exhibition explores how this process can be considered as movement through transitional spaces and whether the initial feelings of excitement and energy can be retained within the captured space of the refined and completed work.
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As an artist-maker working with fibre and plant material, I research basketry techniques that originate in different societies and cultures from around the world. I enjoy experimenting with fibres made from garden flowers, such as daffodils and iris, and combining them with ancient techniques. I work with different media to explore the interface between basketry and ceramics, as well as their relationship with the space they contain and inhabit.
I have worked with a wide range of materials, though my current focus is on aluminium, a material I love for its robustness and outstanding aesthetic qualities. It is a material that can truly stand the test of time, with the significant benefit that it does not degrade when recycled, meaning its lifespan is unlimited. My approach is to explore the function and properties of whatever material I am using through computer-aided modelling, testing and prototyping. As a designer it is my view that a more tactile understanding of a material is needed before you and truly understand it. 

There are two artists who inspire me the most deeply. I find Antony Gormley’s Another Place (figures on the beach) truly beautiful and my ambition is to develop something that delivers such wonder to spectators. The other is the designer Giles Miller whose work with surface design is second to none. He uses repeat pattern in such an engaging way that he turns a single tile into a masterpiece of pattern and texture. 

I am currently taking commissions. Please contact me via phone or email to discuss ideas or projects.