(Anna with her dog Bowie in her home and studio)
I’ve always admired artist Anna McEachran‘s personal style. So I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to visit her in the inspiring space that doubles up as her home and studio. As you can see from the images, there are plenty of eccentric pieces scattered around; my favourite-her collection of opium pipes!
Anna’s solo exhibition ‘get off of my cloud’ is currently showing at ‘kick the gong gallery’ in Claremont. Below, I ask Anna about the exhibition as well as a little about her personal style.
> Please describe ‘get off of my cloud’. What are the ideas and inspirations underlying the works?
‘Get off of my cloud’ is a collection of large-scale, impressionistic portraiture and figurative works centred around when the subject is caught in a moment of silence and solitude… it looks at what we look like when there is no one around to see us when we are alone and contemplating…
> I love how some of your works look ‘unfinished’; in the sense that you don’t paint your subjects entirely. Is there a reason for this?
I found that I always like the paintings better half done, and then hated them once they were finished, so I really consciously left them a little unfinished for this show.
> Do you have a favourite piece in the exhibition? If so, which one(s) and why?
I don’t think an artist is ever completely happy with how their work looks. But my favourite is the first one I painted for this series ‘Good night bad morning’ and maybe the last one I finished the night before the show of Simone Kerr titled ‘Next girl’… I like the one of you too Andrea!
> I remember the fashion label Moocha Bella that you started years ago! When I was in high school I wanted to study fashion design so Moocha Bella was a local label that I really looked up to. Does fashion still play a big part in your life? And most importantly, does it influence your art? If so, how?
Oh that’s really nice to hear. Moocha Bella was such a big part of my life and I do miss it very much. Fashion probably plays way too big a role in my life for my own good, and definitely too big a part of my bank account. I just love it though. I love to play different characters and I think the way you dress can let you be whoever you want to be that day… Yes fashion does influence my art, mostly in the kind of girls I like to paint, they are definitely the model/fashion girls. And I think without doing it consciously my work has a fashion attitude to it.
> Who are your favourite fashion designers? And what influence do they have on your personal style and art?
Favourites are designers like Alexander Wang, Nicholas Ghesquiere, Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackermann, Peter Copping for Nina Ricci and I love Isabel Marant (sometimes). I think the attitude of these designers influences my art, that kind of disheveled elegance, minimalism and masculine meets feminine thing they have going on. Style wise, I love that eclectic thrown together style they represent, mixing structure with slouch, worn with pristine, tailored with worn out…
> I love your personal style. And I know you have an incredible collection of clothes, shoes and bags in your wardrobe. What are your favourite items? And why are they your favourites?
Ha well thank you, I love your style so that’s nice to hear from you! I do have a lot of clothes and way too many shoes and bags for my own good. I bought these Dsquared² heels to wear to a friend’s wedding, I just love that art deco gold heel, they are absolutely crippling though. I was almost crying by the end of the night, but they look so pretty… I am a total sucker for old jeans with a beautiful jacket, some killer shoes, a totally inappropriate bag (i.e. carrying a Valentino clutch to breakfast).
I love Isabel Marant statement jackets and you can wear them for years; they never look dated. I have a dozen pairs of old Current/Elliott jeans that are about to dissolve, which I can’t part with as I virtually live in them. I talked my brother and sister into buying that vintage Chanel cuff for my Mum for her birthday, but oops, it doesn’t fit her wrist so I nabbed it; don’t tell them, they’d kill me. The Cartier clutch is another thing pilfered from my mum’s wardrobe. She’ll never notice, it’s totally ridiculous, you can’t fit a phone in it and you have to decide if you need your house keys or your lipstick because you sure as hell can’t have both, but I love it.
I searched for a year for those darn Chloe Susanna boots when they first came out, but you couldn’t get them anywhere. When they re-released them last year I was so excited I bought them in black and pink, then felt sick for about a month. I love them even though they make my ankles look fat and don’t actually work with many outfits, but I wear them anyway.
It was an absolute pleasure interviewing Anna. She is one of the most talented and stylish people I know. Her exhibition is running at ‘kick the gong gallery’ till November 2nd. It is incredible, so be sure to check it out.
‘get off of my cloud’ by Anna McEachran
kick the gong gallery – St Quentins Avenue, Claremont (cnr St Quentins & Bovell Ln)