I've never been afraid of being decorative. 

When I finished my degree in drawing at Falmouth Art School in 2014, I felt fed up with flat work. Entangled in a group of young makers, jealousy burnt my fingers as I watched them make objects, things that existed. I itched for a practical skill, so my then-boyfriend handed me a chisel and a piece of wood, and showed me how to use his lathe.

My work explores female sexuality, joy and freedom, and this theme began in art school, when I dove into the world of feminist art. I loved the raw emotion, but whilst the anger in the work resonated with me, it didn't come naturally in my own expressions. Then, in 2013, I visited an exhibition of Dorothy Iannone's work, and that changed everything for me. Colourful, cheeky and hilarious, I walked around the empty show with my laughter bouncing off the walls. She used the best communication tool to carry her message - humour. From then on, I felt the freedom to make work that would illicit at least a smile, if not a chuckle. Making work that celebrates women, that does not alienate or engender guilt, I found that I was opening up conversations. I do not, for one minute, think that anger has no place in feminist art, it really does, but this is the road that is paved with the most sincerity for me.

My work now encompasses my hand turned, hand painted bowls, as well as my hand painted clothing and works on paper. I love the progression of the theme, and the fluidity of being in charge of my own practise.

‘Amy’s work is full of beguiling contradictions. It is incredibly joyful and yet carries an important message; it straddles the worlds of high art and functional design; it combines the stereotypically ‘male’ skill of woodturning with decorative art, more often seen as more ‘feminine’; it is both vulnerable and yet incredibly strong. It embodies all the things a modern woman can be – the perfect representation of its creator.’ Katie Tregidden  

Anya Rice

Anya Rice