Photo of Michelle Annand

For a true painter, art and life mirror each other, they are not separate entities.

I work on location in parts of the world that capture both my imagination and spirit. These places are exotic, captivating and can be extremely difficult, but for me the benefits outweigh the challenges.

The East and the Orient continue to fascinate with their ancient sites of interest... and some of the places that I have settled in, or simply explored are world heritage sites, such as Sana'a in Yemen, Palmyra, and Deir Mar Musa in Syria, Bhaktapur and Patan in Kathmandu, Nepal, Jaisalmer, Ladakh, Orcha, Hampi, and Varanasi in India, Luang Prabang in Laos, and more recently Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

My reasons for being drawn to these captivating and magical relics of the past are that the post- modern world of globalism and its manifestations in Coke, Levis and multi-national corporations is increasingly in conflict with the earth's natural ecosystems upon which we depend, the different species of life, and to the detriment of ancient cultures, or any other culture. Thus the world enters a zone of anti- aesthetic, and anti-nature and breeds a type of insanity and chaos, when life is out of balance. This condition became the title of a 1982 film called “Koyaanisqatsi” and was directed by Godfrey Reggio, In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means crazy life, life in turmoil, life disintegrating, a state of life that calls for another way of living. The film was followed by “Powaqqatsi” (1988) and “Naqoyqatsi” (2002). The trilogy depicts different aspects of the relationship between humans, nature, and technology.

To live outside of nature in an artificial environment such as a polluted mega city, soon becomes a nightmare for me, and I fear that I will become an alien creature, ugly in a construct of ugliness. When I am in a simple natural world I can feel human, feeling emotions such as harmony and beauty. If that simple natural world is under threat then I feel mental turbulence and anxiety.
Spending too much time in New Delhi recently, contributed to the painting “Toxic” where I directly had to confront issues in regard to air and water quality in an environment that is becoming increasingly uninhabitable. I ended up as a urban masked creature, defending myself against the daily onslaught of dangers, attempting to protect my lungs from the surrounding toxic atmosphere and filth.

The future for humans as a species is looking gloomy, unless we radically change our ways, and time is running out as are the earth's natural resources becoming depleted. Thus I feel compelled to do in places, that are both precious and sacred. I look to and am inspired by the great cultures of the past, primarily Eastern, that provide a different type of richness and quality to life, that cannot be measured by the parameters of the globalist culture of mass consumerism and the spiritual vacuum of the Western lifestyle.

I am considering putting the MacDonalds corporate logo on my paintings of ancient sites and their religious/ cultural symbols, to contextualize the images.

Biography | Exhibitions