Anna-Carien studied at the University of Pretoria. There she received her Fine Arts Degree, bagged the handsome husband that fathered her three sons and developed a life long passion for filling sketchbooks with drawings of strangers. This habit of watching people explains why her work is and always will be figurative.
In 2017 she was grateful to win the South African Portrait Society’s ‘Living Portrait Master Competition’ and not the ‘Dead Portrait Master Competition’.
Anna-Carien contrasts realism and abstraction in her work because she believes this best portrays the layered and complex world around her. Moving between calculated planning and the thrill of spontaneous or accidental experiments invigorates her. She explores alternative surfaces to draw on - evening gown net, wood, hair, kiln-fired enamel and Perspex – but always returns to her passion for the messiness of oil paint. It makes her feel like an alchemist.
She has honed the skill of hanging art straight through numerous solo and group exhibitions locally and abroad. Her works in public collections include the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, The University of South Africa’s permanent collection and the Women's War Memorial in Bloemfontein.
An individual’s histories and complexities lie unseen beneath their visible skin and bone surface. Our minds shift between various physical, virtual and emotional realities. What is truly ‘real’ at any given moment? This fascination with the human condition is why my work is figurative and why the boundaries around the figures are broken, blurred or abstracted.
My works are reflections of observations, both physical and emotional. It starts as personal musings, which I try to connect with universal concerns. These ideas and events are grappled with, underlined and aim to inspire discussion. I hope the viewer feels an echo in their own being when they look at my work. I create a tactile reality that is best experienced in person: fragile, handmade and absurd.